A tale of two movements: parallels between labor and piqueteros in Argentina
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In the early 1900s, Argentina witnessed the emergence of the labor movement, whose eventual incorporation transformed the political landscape. By the end of the century, another watershed event, neoliberal reform, resulted in the emergence of a new social actor: piqueteros. This study outlines the parallels between the origins of the two movements and examines piqueteros' use of roadblocks, identity formation, linkage to the Peronist party, and relation with labor. This project contributes primary data gathered through interviews with individuals close to the movement and conducts theoretically grounded analyses of secondary data. Piqueteros and organized labor are found to adhere to the same historical pattern of emergence and incorporation. The logic of roadblocks is traced to functional similarities to strikes and access to non-material benefits. These non-material benefits, in turn, became identity forming elements at very local levels in homogeneous communities. The organizational structure of these piquetero groups, coupled Kirchner's need for political support led to clientelistic linkages. Lastly, the experience of labor unions and piquetero groups within an umbrella organization point to a rather collaborative relationship and suggest that inter-movement ties can be stronger than intra-movement ones.