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Title:The Work and Politics of Stevedoring in Rio De Janeiro, 1903--1964 (Brazil)
Author(s):Handy, Priscilla Wing
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sociology, Social Structure and Development
Abstract:This dissertation presents a case study of the stevedores in the port of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from their union's founding in 1903 to 1964. Quantitative and qualitative historical methodologies were used to assess how well the idea of external economic dependency could explain changes in the bargaining power of stevedores, as those workers were hypothesized to be critically placed to benefit from external dependency. The reason and timing for changes in the stevedores' wages were examined, as well as how the stevedores first unionized, and how they influenced the Brazilian national labor movement.
Data on legal minimum wages for stevedores and laborers in Rio de Janeiro, dependency, manufacturing, and port conditions were collected for the years 1922 through 1964 for quantitative analysis. Dependency was measured as the per cent of national trade with one trading partner. The dependent variable was a ratio of stevedore wages over a wage for unskilled labor. The analysis of curves of the variables argues against any following the pattern of changing ties to a core economy proposed in structural economic analysis. Results of the quantitative analysis indicate that the growth in manufacturing in the economy, and hence labor market conditions, are more valuable than trade dependency in interpreting changes in dependent variable. Also, the timing of changes in stevedores' wages and union benefits were frequently a result of bargaining with a populist state involved in planning national economic development. Stevedores lost their protective wage advantage as manufacturing switched from labor-intensive to capital-intensive production, and as legislation changed the nature of stevedoring in order to modernize cargo-handling, which enhanced the capacity of the Brazilian economy to export. At the same time, the stevedore work force divided more clearly between regularly working, better paid union members, and casual workers.
Results affirm the importance of analyzing internal economic growth in studying labor processes in an underdeveloped country, and affirm the value of integrating historical and quantitative methods in order to analyze economic and social change.
Issue Date:1987
Description:187 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8721649
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1987

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