A History of Organized Labor in Bolivia

A History of Organized Labor in Bolivia

A History of Organized Labor in Bolivia

A History of Organized Labor in Bolivia

Excerpt

My interest in organized labor in Latin America was first sparked by a course in Latin American history that I took with Professor Frank Tannenbaum at Columbia University in the late 1930s. I wrote a paper in that course for Dr. Tannenbaum on the history of the labor movement of Argentina. Subsequently, I wrote my master’s thesis on the history of organized labor in Chile and, after World War II, my doctoral dissertation on labor relations in that country.

In later years, I was fortunate to be associated with two men who made it possible for me to develop a considerable amount of personal contact with the labor organization of the region. These were Serafino Romualdi, who described himself as the U.S. labor movement’s “ambassador” to organized labor of the region; and Jay Lovestone, who for many years was virtually “foreign minister” of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and then of the AFL-CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations). During the 1950s and early 1960s, I traveled extensively in Latin America for Lovestone, reporting back to him on my observations on the labor movements and the general economic and political conditions of the countries that I visited. Subsequently, I sought as much as possible to maintain my interest in Latin American organized labor during my extensive travels to the area.

In 1975, I had the good fortune of being part of a two-man team commissioned by the Agency for International Development (AID) to study the operations of the American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD), the organization working with Latin American and Caribbean labor movements, which was administered by the AFL-CIO and largely financed by the AID. Among the . . .

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