This dissertation aims at disentangling the relationship between trade unions and “outsiders”; it investigates labour organizations’ strategies with respect to the representation of this group of workers, challenging the mainstream theory that states how organized labour usually carries out insiders’ interests and hinders outsiders’ claims. More specifically, the thesis analyses the introduction of policies that targeted outsiders and explores whether labour organizations supported them or not. The starting point of this work is the “inclusive turn” that occurred in Latin America from the early 2000s: the Bismarckian welfare regime in place in the region – that, due to the high levels of informality, left large sectors of the population without access to social protection system - was modified by the introduction of non-contributory measures to include outsiders. While the existent literature considers the establishment of long-term democratic regimes and the advent of left parties in the cabinets as the main explanans of this paradigmatic turn, this dissertation contributes to enlarge the comprehension social policy expansion by looking at the role of trade unions in Argentina and Uruguay. The research questions thus concern whether and why labour organizations supported inclusive policies, while taken into consideration possible differences that may depend on unions’ specific features and on the considered policy-fields (children allowances and pensions). According to the existent literature, some arguments have been drawn. While the insider-outsider theory identifies membership and the composition of unions’ rank-and file as the main element that defines trade unions’ choice to support outsiders, other strands of literature pinpoint how labour organizations differentiate their strategies according to their ideologies and the eventual relationship with governments. In addition, external factors may blur the interests of insiders and outsiders, thus affecting labour organizations’ actions. These arguments have been investigated by looking at the Argentinean and Uruguayan unions. The countries have been chosen because they both exhibit similar welfare state developments but they have extremely different trade union models: while in Argentina, it is impossible for more unions to coexist within the same sector or industry, in Uruguay this restriction does not exist. Despite this framework, in Argentina there are two unions – CGT, representing insiders and with an historical relationship with the Peronist Party, and CTA, a leftist organization representing also outsiders – while in Uruguay, only one organization represents all workers, the PIT-CNT, allied with the Frente Amplio. Although the selected cases brought to different expectations, all unions expressed their support to outsiders-favourable measures. A common reason has been found in the diminishing gap between insiders and outsiders (especially in the field of pensions) that pushed trade unions to extend protection to workers well beyond their majoritarian membership. However, this factor was not enough to disentangle the empirical puzzle. Among the three, the Argentinean CTA was the only union without institutional resources. It therefore moved toward a strategy based on mobilization and coalition building with societal actors, culminated with the creation of a National Front against Poverty. When it comes to CGT, results show that it was strongly boosted by CTA’s competition; this element, coupled with the deep corporatist relationship with the Peronist government, pushed CGT toward the support of pro-outsider policies. There was therefore a deviation with respect to the exclusive attention to insiders, as it would be legitimate to expect from the insider/outsider perspective. For what concerns Uruguay, PIT-CNT, is considered a supporter. The ideological affinity with government – they both shared a leftist ideology - and the possibility to state its porposals in the National Dialogue allowed PIT-CNT to promote inclusion of the most disadvantaged workers. The analysis of trade unions’ strategies in the Latin American context has an important relevance also from a theoretical perspective. As the empirical investigation reveals, membership has not emerged as the crucial element to undertake decisions concerning pro-outsider policies. Rather, the economic context seems to have negatively affected the condition of insiders: in fact, some of them were not employed in the formal labour market for their entire careers, generating also difficulties in the access to social protection system. This group, defined as “mid-siders”, thus impacted on trade unions’ willing to promote pro-outsider policies. Another contribution that the paper does to the literature is the partial denial of the revitalization theory and, more specifically, to the definition of institutional resources and on their effects on trade unions’ strategies. The access to such resources from governments is not an obstacle to the support of inclusive policies. Garay (2016) helps to understand how the strict relationship between political actors, even if they are inserted in a corporatist model, does not necessarily exclude outsiders, if there exist a competition to grab their support. Finally, this work strongly confirms the importance of ideology: union with leftist ideologies have been demonstrated to conceive social protection as “human rights”, implying that welfare state should provide universal coverage. In light of this findings, the insider/outsider theory is not confirmed: rather than the rank-and-file composition, other factors intervene in defining trade unions’ strategies and their support for pro-outsider policies.

PROTECTING ¿OUTSIDERS¿: TRADE UNION STRATEGIES AND THE EXPANSIONARY TURN IN ARGENTINA AND URUGUAY / A. Puricelli ; supervisor: M. Jessoula ; phd director: M. Jessoula. - : . DIPARTIMENTO DI SCIENZE SOCIALI E POLITICHE, 2019 Jan 08. ((30. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2017. [10.13130/puricelli-angelica_phd2019-01-08].

PROTECTING ¿OUTSIDERS¿: TRADE UNION STRATEGIES AND THE EXPANSIONARY TURN IN ARGENTINA AND URUGUAY

A. Puricelli
2019

Abstract

This dissertation aims at disentangling the relationship between trade unions and “outsiders”; it investigates labour organizations’ strategies with respect to the representation of this group of workers, challenging the mainstream theory that states how organized labour usually carries out insiders’ interests and hinders outsiders’ claims. More specifically, the thesis analyses the introduction of policies that targeted outsiders and explores whether labour organizations supported them or not. The starting point of this work is the “inclusive turn” that occurred in Latin America from the early 2000s: the Bismarckian welfare regime in place in the region – that, due to the high levels of informality, left large sectors of the population without access to social protection system - was modified by the introduction of non-contributory measures to include outsiders. While the existent literature considers the establishment of long-term democratic regimes and the advent of left parties in the cabinets as the main explanans of this paradigmatic turn, this dissertation contributes to enlarge the comprehension social policy expansion by looking at the role of trade unions in Argentina and Uruguay. The research questions thus concern whether and why labour organizations supported inclusive policies, while taken into consideration possible differences that may depend on unions’ specific features and on the considered policy-fields (children allowances and pensions). According to the existent literature, some arguments have been drawn. While the insider-outsider theory identifies membership and the composition of unions’ rank-and file as the main element that defines trade unions’ choice to support outsiders, other strands of literature pinpoint how labour organizations differentiate their strategies according to their ideologies and the eventual relationship with governments. In addition, external factors may blur the interests of insiders and outsiders, thus affecting labour organizations’ actions. These arguments have been investigated by looking at the Argentinean and Uruguayan unions. The countries have been chosen because they both exhibit similar welfare state developments but they have extremely different trade union models: while in Argentina, it is impossible for more unions to coexist within the same sector or industry, in Uruguay this restriction does not exist. Despite this framework, in Argentina there are two unions – CGT, representing insiders and with an historical relationship with the Peronist Party, and CTA, a leftist organization representing also outsiders – while in Uruguay, only one organization represents all workers, the PIT-CNT, allied with the Frente Amplio. Although the selected cases brought to different expectations, all unions expressed their support to outsiders-favourable measures. A common reason has been found in the diminishing gap between insiders and outsiders (especially in the field of pensions) that pushed trade unions to extend protection to workers well beyond their majoritarian membership. However, this factor was not enough to disentangle the empirical puzzle. Among the three, the Argentinean CTA was the only union without institutional resources. It therefore moved toward a strategy based on mobilization and coalition building with societal actors, culminated with the creation of a National Front against Poverty. When it comes to CGT, results show that it was strongly boosted by CTA’s competition; this element, coupled with the deep corporatist relationship with the Peronist government, pushed CGT toward the support of pro-outsider policies. There was therefore a deviation with respect to the exclusive attention to insiders, as it would be legitimate to expect from the insider/outsider perspective. For what concerns Uruguay, PIT-CNT, is considered a supporter. The ideological affinity with government – they both shared a leftist ideology - and the possibility to state its porposals in the National Dialogue allowed PIT-CNT to promote inclusion of the most disadvantaged workers. The analysis of trade unions’ strategies in the Latin American context has an important relevance also from a theoretical perspective. As the empirical investigation reveals, membership has not emerged as the crucial element to undertake decisions concerning pro-outsider policies. Rather, the economic context seems to have negatively affected the condition of insiders: in fact, some of them were not employed in the formal labour market for their entire careers, generating also difficulties in the access to social protection system. This group, defined as “mid-siders”, thus impacted on trade unions’ willing to promote pro-outsider policies. Another contribution that the paper does to the literature is the partial denial of the revitalization theory and, more specifically, to the definition of institutional resources and on their effects on trade unions’ strategies. The access to such resources from governments is not an obstacle to the support of inclusive policies. Garay (2016) helps to understand how the strict relationship between political actors, even if they are inserted in a corporatist model, does not necessarily exclude outsiders, if there exist a competition to grab their support. Finally, this work strongly confirms the importance of ideology: union with leftist ideologies have been demonstrated to conceive social protection as “human rights”, implying that welfare state should provide universal coverage. In light of this findings, the insider/outsider theory is not confirmed: rather than the rank-and-file composition, other factors intervene in defining trade unions’ strategies and their support for pro-outsider policies.
JESSOULA, MATTEO ROBERTO CARLO
JESSOULA, MATTEO ROBERTO CARLO
Settore SPS/04 - Scienza Politica
Settore SPS/01 - Filosofia Politica
Settore SPS/11 - Sociologia dei Fenomeni Politici
PROTECTING ¿OUTSIDERS¿: TRADE UNION STRATEGIES AND THE EXPANSIONARY TURN IN ARGENTINA AND URUGUAY / A. Puricelli ; supervisor: M. Jessoula ; phd director: M. Jessoula. - : . DIPARTIMENTO DI SCIENZE SOCIALI E POLITICHE, 2019 Jan 08. ((30. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2017. [10.13130/puricelli-angelica_phd2019-01-08].
Doctoral Thesis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/609445
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