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Basic Variable 5.16: Industrial Relations
Added as a new party issue after 1960

The variable attempts to capture the level to which a political party encourages or discourages the participation of workers in governmental decision making. In a sense, it reflects the level of corporatism in a society. Schmitter (1974) distinguishes between state and societal corporatism. Their essential difference centers around their path of development and consequently their dependency upon the state. State corporatism tends to be associated with a government mandated interest representation structure or institution, in this case, specifically for labor matters. This form tends to restrict members' actions and abilities, and is ultimately dependent upon the state for its existence. Societal corporatism tends to be associated with an autonomous, diversified labor movement gaining a voice in governmental affairs through organization.

The Industrial Relations variable attempts to measure a political party's efforts in encouraging or discouraging labor organization. The variable does this on two levels. The first is the party's position toward organized labor and the amount of input it allows labor in formulating industrial policy. The second level measures the party's position on the rights of workers which may be independent of labor organization.

Operational Definition. The issue orientation scoring matrix is used with "weak," "moderate," and "strong" positions on both sides of the issue as defined below and scored assuming no conflict between program and practice.

PRO-strong
+5

Encourages political participation on a wide range on industrial issues by free, unrestricted labor organizations. The party may function as an extension of one of these groups. Party supports full worker rights in terms of share ownership, benefits, health and safety matters.

PRO-moderate
+3

Encourages political participation of free, unrestricted labor organizations on a limited number of labor matters. Worker rights center around benefits, health and safety but generally omit share ownership.

PRO-weak
+1

Workers are free to organize, with minor restrictions but only play a consulting role policy making at the request of the govermnent. Worker rights center around health and safety matters.

NEUTRAL
0

Includes ambiguous or contradictory positions.

CON-weak
-1

Structures are in place to regulate the activity of organized labor, such as strikes. However, regulations are limited and no restrictions are placed upon the number of organizations permitted. Worker rights continue to diminish in terms of the losses for industry. A minimum package of benefits, health and safety regulations are supported by the party.

CON-moderate
-3

Labor organization and activity is limited to only state mandated organizations. Policy input is minimal and only consultative. other groups are illegal. worker rights are subject to the discretion of industry although individual rights still remain to offer some protection to workers.

CON-strong
-5

Party supports the suspension of all labor organization and activity, and would be willing to use coercion. worker rights are non-existent and viewed as a hinderance to the economic well-being of the country.

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