Labor unions have played an important role in Latin American society. This is particularly true in Argentine, where the labor union movement gained strength in 1946 under the populist government of Juan Domingo Peron. When Carlos Menem, from the Peronist party, assumed presidency in 1989, the CGT, Argentina's labor confederation, expected traditional populism to return. Instead, Menem abandoned populism and aligned with the Conservative right to implement a neoliberal agenda.
This thesis explores the processes by which Argentine labor unions lost strength during the dual processes of democratization and market reforms. By analyzing the CGT since Menem become president, this study attempts to explain the role of labor unions under democracy, and the relationship between organized labor and government in the context of economic reforms and political transformation. Furthermore, this thesis argues that the decline of the CGT resulted form the implementation of neoliberal reforms.