State corporatism and democratic industrial relations in Spain 1926-1935: a reappraisal

Marc Prat, Oscar Molina

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6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper, we explore the development of Spanish industrial relations institutions in the late 1920s and early 1930s. This period witnessed a change from a semifascist dictatorship toward a democratic regime as well as from economic growth to a deep economic recession. In spite of these transformations, we evidence remarkable continuity in the corporatist industrial relations institutions created in the last years of the Primo de Rivera dictatorship. The analysis of collective bargaining practices in two regions with different trade union traditions and industrial configurations shows how the experience of Comités Paritarios (joint committees) initiated in 1926 had lasting institutional effects. This contrasts with the views expressed by some authors, as well as accepted wisdom according to which state corporatism is necessarily rhetorical and accounts for little more than a mechanism to disarm the labor movement. Based on a historiographic analysis and a previously unexploited source, we provide further support to the view that Primo de Rivera contributed significantly to the modernization of labor relations in Spain. Collective bargaining expanded significantly during this period, and the joint committees system was an institutional innovation that persisted, with minor changes, during the Second Republic, until 1935. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-227
JournalLabor History
Volume55
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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