On the borders of social dialogue and silence

Alfredo Massi


Abstract -During thirty years of Mercosur, only one transnational collective agreement was signed. In aforementioned bloc, even in a bi-national company as Itaipu, collective agreements are signed separately between the company and both Brazilian and Paraguayan labor unions. On the other hand, in the European Union, there are at least 144 transnational agreements at multinational companies' level. This study, therefore, seeks to track possible causes of this "social silence" in South America, given the apparent inability of national unions to dialogue with analogous entities from neighboring countries. This work chose, as research site, the so-called "twin cities" of Foz do Iguaçu (Brazil) and Ciudad del Este (Paraguay), urban space where the binational company Itaipu is located. This research applies the qualitative in-depth interview technique as a method, paying special attention to the experience of the interlocutors of potential transnational agreements, especially former and current union leaders from Brazil and Paraguay. Thus, in addition to find hypothesis for further studies in this field, the article seeks to test new methodologies, aimed at building innovative understanding keys, due to the challenges faced by contemporary Labour Law.

Parole chiave

social dialogue; Mercosur; transnational collective agreement

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