Class Notes 10-27

Class Notes 10-27 - October 27, 2011 Global Challenges:...

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October 27, 2011 Global Challenges: Labor II Economic restructuring has presented a number of challenges for labor—low-paid, insecure jobs, un/underemployment—but people are not passive in the face of such forces On Tuesday: New forms of labor organizing in London’s service sector economy Today: The movement to reclaim factories in Argentina Argentina colonized by Spanish in 16-18 th century. Remained subordinate to British capital into 19 th century In mid-20 th century, pro-labor government and adoption of IS policies to try and support mass production-consumption Military dictatorship seized power from 1976-83 Although democracy was restored major economic obstacles lay ahead, including the large debts accumulated by the military government. In 1991, following two years of high inflation, the administration of Carlos Menem expanded the neoliberal reforms. State industries were privatized, and labor markets were deregulated. To encourage foreign investment, the government also pegged the Argentinian peso to the US dollar and allowed full convertibility between the two currencies. From 1995 onward, the US pursued a “strong dollar” policy. As the value of the US dollar increased, so did the value of the Argentinian peso. This made products manufactured in Argentina more expensive compared to foreign imports. Imports increased from US $11.6 billion in 1991 to US $32.3 billion in 2000. Cheap imports enabled higher consumption among the middle classes: ‘pizza and champagne’. But rising value of peso also meant higher labor costs leading many corporations to cut manufacturing jobs in Argentina. By the end of the decade, an economic crisis was growing.
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Class Notes 10-27 - October 27, 2011 Global Challenges:...

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