It was not only the Cold War: Italian and American trade unionism for the economic development of the country (1947–1960)

Giampiero Bianchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

During the crucial years in which Italian society for the first time in its history became an advanced industrial society, took part in a free international economy and consolidated the foundations of its young democracy, a group of Italian and American trade unionists started to look at ways to transform work and business in Italy. These attempts sometimes met with success but at other times with failure. Italian trade unionism split into different parts: the CGIL trade union remained tied to the economic culture and praxis of the Third Communist International, while the CISL mixed the ideas of J Commons and J Maritain and M Mounier, changing completely its strategy between 1948 and 1950. It was a ‘new union’ walking away from its own traditions: many of CISL’s opponents called it the ‘American Trade Union’ and accused it of imitating the USA’s productivity, industrial democracy, vertical organization and its complete autonomy from the state and political parties. So far, the historiography has read this event only in the context of the Cold War, but this point of view does not explain all those matters that persisted in the Italian Labor market: today’s policies for productivity, the new collective bargaining reforms and the problems of industrial democracy are just some examples that demonstrate that at the end of the Cold War the same issues remained.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-471
Number of pages9
JournalForum Italicum
Volume47
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • 1947-1960
  • cold war
  • history
  • italy
  • trade unionism
  • united states

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