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Brazil's Steel CityDevelopmentalism, Strategic Power, and Industrial Relations in Volta Redonda, 1941-1964$
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Oliver Dinius

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780804771689

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804771689.001.0001

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The Crisis of Developmentalism

The Crisis of Developmentalism

From Union Hegemony to the Military Coup

(p.206) 8 The Crisis of Developmentalism
Brazil's Steel City
Stanford University Press

This chapter examines how the metalworkers union (Sindicato dos Trabalhadores nas Indústrias Metalúrgicas, Mecânicas e de Material Elétrico de Barra Mansa) at the National Steel Company (Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional; CSN) tried to use its bargaining power to extract concessions despite Brazil's deteriorating economy during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Rising inflation, coupled with CSN's financial struggles, diminished opportunities for higher salaries, yet the labor union attempted to increase workers' take-home pay by demanding an increase in incentives. As the union pressured the company through direct negotiations and labor court actions, along with an expanding role in shop floor management, industrial relations became more contentious. The CSN management warned about a financial crisis but union leaders did not relent on their demands. The conflict was resolved when the military staged a coup d'état in 1964 against the administration of João Goulart. After the coup, union power was curtailed, workers' control was reduced, and CSN's financial responsibilities were diminished.

Keywords:   Brazil, National Steel Company, labor union, coup d'état, metalworkers, bargaining, salaries, incentives, industrial relations

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