journal Articles

Rafael Lamera Giesta Cabral

The 1934 Brazilian Constitution and the regulation experience of labor in Brazil (1930-1934)

The Brazilian Revolution of 1930 came with a political action program that can be understood by three related dimensions. By rethinking the structures of (i) federalism, which was deemed inappropriate for not unifying all the forces of the nation, it sought to reorganize the bases of representative democracy with the inclusion of (ii) the model of class (or professional) representation. This reorganization allowed workers and employers to take a seat in the central legislative power. In an ongoing act, it practiced (iii) labor regulation towards its social change project, to strengthen the nation's productive ties. The connection between federalism, class representation, and labor regulation resulted from a tension that dragged on for years in Brazil's political and constitutional experience. Its inclusion in the political agenda of the 1930s represents yet another move to question the political and legal bases of the period, which would necessarily anticipate a solution to the country's future problems through the process of reconstitutionalization and its conflicts over constitutional control. In this article, the focus will be on evaluating the labor regulation movement in a two-act course. In the first, it seeks to map out the social changes implemented since the 1930 Revolution. In the second, it seeks to investigate how the provisional government articulated the elaboration of a constitutional draft including labor regulation with a different foundation from previous experiences, incorporating and inaugurating the movement of constitutionalization of social rights and the dialogues with the labor corporatism in the 1934 Constitution. The concluding remarks indicate that this process involved two relevant changes: first, it was that the (re)organizing worker’s representation, the government built elements to establish an idea of labor citizenship, more centered on urban workers, to the detriment of rural workers; second, it was to consolidate the role of the State in the process of regulating labor conflicts, within a corporatist format (which lasted until 1999).

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Articles April 29, 2021
© 2021 fhi
ISSN: 1860-5605
First publication

DOI: https://doi.org/10.26032/fhi-2021-005