A History of Organized Labor in Panama and Central America

A History of Organized Labor in Panama and Central America

A History of Organized Labor in Panama and Central America

A History of Organized Labor in Panama and Central America

Synopsis

There are few pieces of pottery more recognisable than those designed by Clarice Cliff. For many the epitome of Art Deco, characterised by bold colour and lines, geometric shapes, and stylised representations of the countryside, Clarice Cliff's 'bizarre' pottery is collected all over the world. Using a wealth of colour illustrations, Will Farmer traces the story of Clarice Cliff and the pottery that she created. Employed in The Potteries from the age of thirteen, Clarice was talented and resourceful, and in 1927 she was given her own studio at the Newport Pottery where, for the next twelve years, she produced a range of sought-after designs that have become icons of the age.

Excerpt

My interest in the history of organized labor in Latin America was first aroused in the late 1930s, when I wrote an extensive term paper on the history of the Argentine labor movement for the course in Latin American history taught by Dr. Frank Tannenbaum at Columbia University. Similarly, my acquaintanceship with Central America was kindled when I did another paper for him on the United Fruit Company, paying special attention to that firm’s labor relations in the Central American nations within which it was then operating.

A decade later, I was able for the first time to develop a personal acquaintance with the Latin American labor movements in two extensive trips: first to South America and the Caribbean in 1946–1947, and then to Central America and Mexico in the summer of 1948. On many subsequent trips to Central America in the next four decades, I was able to follow the development of organized labor in the countries of the region. The pages of this book will in part reflect these continuing contacts.

During the 1950s and early 1960s, I was fortunate to work from time to time for Serafino Romualdi, the Latin American representative of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and then of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO); and for Jay Lovestone, for long the foreign minister, so to speak, of the AFL and then of the AFL-CIO. Romualdi provided me with considerable original documentary material, whereas my trips to the area financed by Lovestone permitted me to maintain over a number of years ongoing personal contact with the Central American labor movements. I reported back to Lovestone on what I observed in the various countries, and some of these reports are cited in the pages of this book.

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