Labour Process and Worker's Bargaining Power in Export Grape Production, North East Brazil

Authors: 
Publication Type: 
Volume: 
7
Number: 
4
Page Numbers: 
526-553
Month/Season: 
Published On: 
2007

This article uses the Global Commodity Chain (GCC) framework to investigate labour regimes in export grape production in the São Francisco (SF) valley, North East Brazil. A combination of strict northern retailer requirements and producers’ ability to target export windows leads to an increasingly complex labour process. Whilst much GCC literature focusing on export agriculture concludes that labour is relatively powerless, this article presents a rather different case. The need to upgrade production continually in response to retailers’ demands gives workers strategic leverage which, together with a strong and continuing tradition of rural trade union organization, means that they have been able to extract significant concessions from exporting farms.