Pablo Perez

BA: Universidad de Chile, Sociology

MA: Universidad Catolica de Chile, Sociology

Areas of specialization: social class, inequality, political economy, political sociology, Latin American societies

Dissertation project: "Business, labor, and the class politics of labor reforms in Chile (1979-2016)"

In my dissertation, I aim to explain why the institutions that regulate workers’ collective rights in Chile since the dictatorship—particularly those established in the 1979 Labor Plan—have not been changed even after 25 years of democratic rule. Conceived as a business-friendly plan, the Labor Plan restricts collective bargaining to the firm level, and weakens workers’ collective organization by promoting union fragmentation and “parallelism”. Although policy-makers and international organizations argue that a reform to the existing regulations is key for overcoming inequality in Chile, all the attempts to do so have been unsuccessful.

In my dissertation I draw upon literature on class-based collective action, labor and business mobilization, and insights from recent research on labor reform and welfare policy change in Latin America. Based on them, I analyze the origins of the 1979 Labor Plan, as well as the role played by the business association Confederación de la Producción y del Comercio (CPC) and the labor central confederation Central Unitaria de Trabajadores (CUT) in the formulation and implementation of labor reforms since 1990 to the present. I study the way in which the CPC and the CUT function as organizations representing, with different degrees of success, the class-wide interests of labor and business. In doing so, I show that the different organizational and collective-action logics of the CPC and the CUT are key for understanding why business has been more successful than labor in influencing policy making during the reform periods of 1990-1993, 2000-2001, and 2015-2016.

In my dissertation I use quantitative data, as well as qualitative (interviews) and historical (archival) data collected during one year of fieldwork in Santiago, Chile.  

Selected Publications

You can find some of my publications at:

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Pablo_Perez_Ahumada