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Electricity in Latin America, 2004

Electricity in Latin America, 2004

Hall, David (2004) Electricity in Latin America, 2004. Project Report. Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU), London, UK.

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PSI has commissioned this paper in order to help unions develop coordinated strategies to protect their
members’ rights and interests. In the energy sector, there are many developments that unions must consider
as they plan for the next few years.
The most important trend is the complex and deep problems with the privatisation and deregulation model
imposed by the international financial institutions. This neo-liberal approach to the serious challenges of
supplying safe and reliable energy to citizens, to industry and to agriculture has proven to be weaker even
that the public service model that it sought to replace.
The report indicates that many of the multinational corporations that rushed in as agents of the IFIs have run
away or are looking for the first opportunity to get out. This may mean that unions will have a difficult time
negotiating long-term collective agreements with them, that no money will be available for salary increases,
or that these MNCs will attempt to cut jobs in order to squeeze last-minute profits. However, it also means
that the unions can put pressure on the companies by letting the communities and the politicians know of the
corporate plans to leave.
We can conclude from this research that unions will find it easier to resist energy privatisation, at least for
the short term. However, in the long term, it is safe to assume that the IFIs will return to their neo-liberal,
market-based attacks on the public sector. Thus, unions must develop long term solutions to protect public
Possibly the best way to resist privatisation is to ensure that the public services are of a high quality, and that
they meet the needs of the public. This can perhaps be achieved through a variety of tools: labourmanagement
cooperation to reform and improve public services; workers and users taking a greater role in
decision-making; governments investing in public infrastructure. Such an approach will require new
strategies and new alliances. The unions are in a good position to lead, if they are willing

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Additional Information: Report published in English and Spanish.
Uncontrolled Keywords: multinationals, latin america, public services, energy sector, trade unions, electricity
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Centre for Work and Employment Research (CREW) > Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU)
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2019 08:43

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