Workers' Control in Latin America, 1930-1979

By Jonathan C. Brown | Go to book overview

Conclusion

The enthusiasm with which most oil workers welcomed the nationalization cannot be diminished by the fact that they never did obtain their wage increases. The activities of workers at the refineries and oil fields following the depression Of 1930 show that the level of wages, although important, may have been secondary to most oil workers. First and foremost, the individual who lent his services to the oil industry wanted a steady job. He wanted to leave at his own choosing--not the company's. Deterioration of the foreign-owned Mexican oil industry had produced the very antithesis of security for the proletarians. Nearly seven out of ten jobs were lost between 1921 and 1935.

Their struggle, however, most often pitted members of the working class against each other. Why? Workers wanted to control the competitive labor market as much as possible, at the same time that they strove to effect guarantees that the disastrous layoffs would not occur again. To accomplish these two objectives, they reconstituted their unions, making them stronger and more able to confront the companies. Those unions emerging from the internecine strife Of 1934 and 1935 proved exceptionally combative. Their leaders were tough minded and bold. The struggle for the closed shop met part of the agenda of the rank-and-file workers. But it did not fulfill all of the workers' criteria for security. As long as the companies retained control of personnel matters, the workers could not be certain that their gains might not be reversed. The same uncertainty held true if a few pockets of employer privilege remained in the form of nonunionized companies and of some unions having no exclusionary clause. The remedy was a collective contract severely limiting employer prerogatives. For security, therefore, the worker was counting on the union and its tough leaders. It was certainly more tangible and familiar to him than the distant and unpredictable world economy. Neither the state, nor the Constitution Of 1917, nor the 1931 labor law, nor Cárdenas himself would deliver that security like an industrywide union could. Therefore, the workers made the Mexican Oil Workers Syndicate, from the ground up.

For its part, the state under Cárdenas promoted labor unity, consistent with its policy of balancing the "antagonistic interests" of capital and labor. The state conceived of all workers being organized into large industrial unions partly as a means to providing social peace in the industrial world. Cárdenas himself tolerated strikes when workers were organizing their unions. But once unions were formed, Cárdenas also expected that labor strife would end, as evidenced in his condemnation of the wildcat oil strikes. The state obviously viewed the labor union as a form of social discipline. The laborer viewed it as a form of workers' control.

-66-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Workers' Control in Latin America, 1930-1979
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 328

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.