Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor and Center Director for Global Workers' Rights, Labor Studies and Employment Relations, Pennsylvania State University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2001
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Government, Cornell University
Segmented Production, Networked Solidarity: Labor and Industrial Restructuring in Latin America's Apparel and Auto Industries

This research project seeks to explore the relationship between industrial restructuring and labor in Latin America's apparel and automobile industries. I argue that the recent trend of multinational corporations to outsource significant portions of the production process to independent producers has greatly segmented production regimes within and across countries. I hypothesize that this process has weakened labor's ability to collectively defend its interests at the plant level. The weakening of labor's collective power at the plant level induces labor to pursue new venues through which to promote its goals, most notably through transnational and networked forms of solidarity. This process is influenced by the structure of the production regime, the nature of domestic institutions and the ability of labor to constitute a transnational worker identity. This project will entail in-depth case studies on labor and the apparel industry in El Salvador and on labor and the automobile industry in Brazil. I will test my findings on several secondary cases involving other Latin American countries.