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Capitalists against MarketsThe Making of Labor Markets and Welfare States in the United States and Sweden$
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Peter A. Swenson

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195142976

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195142977.001.0001

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World War and Class Politics

World War and Class Politics

Solidarism and Intersectoral Control in the United States

Chapter:
(p.167) 8 World War and Class Politics
Source:
Capitalists against Markets
Author(s):

Peter A. Swenson (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195142977.003.0008

Wraps up the analysis of labor market developments in the U.S. through the 1940s showing how and why employers abdicated their segmentalist autonomy and submitted temporarily to state‐imposed solidarism, including intersectoral wage compression similar to what Sweden's normal peace time system brought about. During the prewar and interwar periods, the same employers actively sought another kind of intersectoral control, especially over wages in the building and construction trades, because high wages in this sector disrupted major manufacturers’ otherwise workable system of labor market governance just as they did in Sweden. Unlike in Sweden, however, major American manufacturers were unable to find allies for a cross‐class alliance against the building trade unions, and thus political relations between capital and labor remained far more hostile than in Sweden despite the Swedish labor movement's explicitly anticapitalist ideology.

Keywords:   building and construction, employers, labor unions, politics, segmentalism, solidarism, Sweden, United States, wages, World War I, World War II

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