A History of Organized Labor in Uruguay and Paraguay

A History of Organized Labor in Uruguay and Paraguay

A History of Organized Labor in Uruguay and Paraguay

A History of Organized Labor in Uruguay and Paraguay

Excerpt

My interest in the history of the organized labor movements in Latin America was first aroused when I took a course in Latin American history at Columbia University with Dr. Frank Tannenbaum in the late 1930s and wrote an extensive term paper for Dr. Tannenbaum on the history of the labor movement in Argentina. During my first trip to Latin America in 1946–1947 I paid special attention to the organized labor movements in the countries I visited, a practice that I followed during most of my other visits to the region in the succeeding half century.

In the 1950s and early 1960s, I was fortunate to work from time to time—during summer vacations and on some other occasions—for Jay Lovestone, then the virtual “foreign minister” of the American Federation of Labor and then of the AFL-CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations). I reported to Lovestone about the state of the labor movements and about general political and economic conditions in the countries I visited, and excerpts from a few of these reports, as well as notes on interviews that I had with labor leaders and others, are to be found in the pages that follow.

I have generally sought to bring the story of trade unionism in Uruguay and Paraguay through the year 1990. Only in a few instances, when the data required it, have I dealt with events subsequent to that date.

For the last several years I have been working on a study on the history of organized labor in Latin America and the English-speaking West Indies. It finally reached such proportions as to preclude its publication as a single work. So I decided to undertake to have it appear as a series of separate volumes.

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