Title“Contesting the ‘Mexican miracle’
NameAlegre, Robert (author), Wasserman, Mark (chair), Kaplan, Temma (internal member), Hewitt, Nancy (internal member), Scott, Joan W. (internal member), Beezley, Willaim H. (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Railroads--Employees--Labor unions--Mexico--History--20th century,
Working class--Political activity--Mexico,
Partido Revolucionario Institucional
DescriptionThis dissertation argues that railway men and women led a working class insurrection in response to post-war economic modernization programs implemented by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), programs which favored business interests over the needs of the working class. In doing so, the railway movement challenged PRI hegemony by proposing a new democratic vision based on workplace democracy and community mobilization. The thesis details how the PRI intervened in the affairs of the most powerful industrial union, the Mexican Railway Workers’ Union (STFRM), forming pacts with union leaders to ensure the acquiescence of the rank and file to the ruling party’s post-war economic program. After enduring declining wages enabled by union corruption throughout the 1950s, dissident railway workers organized in 1958 and 1959 to elect democratic leaders to head the STFRM and to pressure the Mexican National Railways to raise wages and provide housing and medical benefits to railway families. Drawing on oral histories and railway company documents, the thesis proceeds to argue that railway men and women created a collective identity based on workplace and neighborhood experiences, and that they drew on this identity to organize the railway movement of the 1950s. Because a railway identity existed for individuals who did not work for the railways, such as wives, daughters and sons, the railway movement brought together families across regions. Hence, what began as a struggle over workplace concerns took on national significance in 1958 when railway families supported strikes that shut down the economy. The railway movement stood as the most significant challenge to PRI rule up to that moment, serving as an antecedent to the student movement of the 1960s.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
NoteRobert Francis Alegre
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.