In January 1919 the Peruvian government issued a decree establishing the eight-hour work day—the culmination of thirty years of struggle by Peru’s works and evidence of the increasing influence of the labor movement in Peruvian politics and society.
Beginning in October 1883 at the time of Treaty of Ancón terminating four years of warfare with Chile, Peru’s workers started a thirty-year effort to become an active and influential sector of society. They formed organizations, actively participated in the nation’s political life, engaged in industrial agitation—all revealing a growing class consciousness and an ability to compel both employers and governments to respond to their demands. Blanchard’s analysis and insights into the economic factors underlying Peru’s labor unrest also extends to labor developments and the modernization process throughout Latin America.
Peter Blanchard is professor of history at the University of Toronto. He is the author of The Origins of the Peruvian Labor Movement, 1883-1919 and Slavery and Abolition in Early Republican Peru.learn more