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Trabajo y sociedad

versión On-line ISSN 1514-6871


MARSHALL, Adriana. Minimum wages and collective bargaining in wage determination: interactions between wage policies and trade union positions in Argentina and Uruguay. Trab. soc. [online]. 2019, n.32, pp.79-101. ISSN 1514-6871.

Focusing in two countries, Argentina and Uruguay, both with a well-established national minimum wage institution and a predominantly industry-wide system of collective bargaining covering most of wage earners, in this article I analyze the relationship between these two coexisting labour institutions during 2003-15 in Argentina and 2005-16 in Uruguay, and how this relationship contributed to shape the evolution of the minimum wage and of private-sector wages. The study suggests that, in both countries, in contrast to a widely held belief, national minimum wage increases do not function as standards of reference for wage bargaining, and that those two institutions of wage determination operated autonomously from each other. In each country the evolution of the national minimum wage differed from that of negotiated wage rates and/or total earnings and, moreover, their comparative trends differed between the two countries. These trends may be explained by the interactions, in the context of prevailing legislation, between state wage policies and trade union attitudes vis-à-vis both the role of the national minimum wage and state limitations to wage increases to be agreed in collective bargaining.

Palabras clave : minimum wage; collective bargaining; wage policies; trade unions,wages.

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