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This study examines the variation in the number of strikes, and days lost to strikes, in the Mexican automobile industry. The analysis draws on an original data set on strikes in 11 Mexican finished vehicle plants for the period of 1980 and 2012. The statistical models are estimated using pooled Poisson and negative binomial regression. The findings of the study provide empirical support for perspectives that emphasize the legacies of state corporatism, and theories that focus on the effects of regional integration. Unions that were independent from the Confederation of Mexican Workers, and democratic unions, were associated with a higher count of strikes, and strikes of longer duration in each plant. Higher tariffs on imported vehicles also had a positive effect on strikes. However, the ratio of exports to national production in each firm was associated with a reduction in the number and duration of strikes. After adjusting for these influences, lagged real wage changes in each plant, local unemployment rates, and other factors had no influence.

In: Journal of Labor and Society
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This study provides a preliminary assessment of the impact of the pandemic on labor market conditions in Nevada. The analysis applies a locally weighted regression method (Lowess curve fitting) to time-series data on weekly initial and continuing unemployment claims. Other measures of labor market outcomes are also included in the analysis. The findings suggest that while baseline conditions were relatively stable, the pandemic has generated an increase in unemployment in Nevada, and a steep rise in the number of unemployed workers covered by unemployment insurance. However, the largest growth in initial weekly unemployment claims may have already occurred. In addition, given the weight of leisure and hospitality in overall nonfarm employment, workers in that sector have been at elevated risk for unemployment. It is also possible that Latino and Asian workers will experience higher levels of unemployment. Finally, the study suggests that a history of inadequate financing has undermined the administrative capacity of the state's unemployment agency, with attendant consequences for its ability to process new claims. Likewise, the volume of continuing claims raises questions about the financial solvency of Nevada's unemployment insurance trust fund.

In: Journal of Labor and Society

Abstract

Due to its size and importance, the Mexican automobile industry was an important topic in negotiations for the usmca agreement. A particularly contentious issue was the allegation that foreign direct investment (fdi) in Mexican parts plants has been facilitated by autocratic unions affiliated with the Confederation of Mexican Workers (ctm). Although this issue has been widely noted, there has been little systematic research on the topic. In this paper, we seek to fill this gap in the literature. Using panel data, we examine the determinants of fdi in the automotive parts sector in Mexico’s 31 states and Mexico City (formerly df) from 2004 to 2018. The study makes four contributions to the literature. First, we demonstrate empirically that fdi in the sector concentrated in Mexican states with a higher lagged unionization rate. Second, controlling for the type of union organization, the study shows that fdi was positively associated with states where the ctm was already well-established in the automobile industry. Alternatively, fdi was negatively associated with states where independent and democratic unions had previously organized. Third, we clarify the conditions under which firms prefer pre-emptive unionization with the ctm to the alternative of union avoidance. Finally, the study points to the importance of education and transportation infrastructure in fdi decisions.

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In: Journal of Labor and Society