Federation of Argentine Workers (FOA)

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Federation of Argentine Workers (FOA)

Founded in 1901 after a compromise between anarchist and socialist labor leaders, the Federación Obrera Argentina (FOA) changed its name to Federación Obrera Regional Argentina (FORA) in 1904, becoming the representative of the anarchist branch of the Argentine labor movement. The socialists had left the federation in 1903 to form the Unión General de Trabajadores, taking about 1,800 affiliates, while the FOA retained around 7,600 members. By 1904, its membership had grown to 33,000. In 1905 the FORA declared its allegiance to "the economic and philosophical principles of anarcho-communism," rejecting any possible compromise with other ideological tendencies within the labor movement. Government repression of anarchist activism on the one hand, and the absorption of socialist organizations by the growing syndicalist movement on the other, led to a short-lived fusion of anarchist and syndicalist groups in 1914. In 1915 the FORA saw itself divided once again between the so-called FORA IX Congress, standing for the 1915 congress dominated by the syndicalists, and the FORA V Congress, standing for the 1905 congress, which had proclaimed the principles of anarcho-communism. The two federations remained divided until 1922, when the syndicalist FORA was absorbed by a new syndicalist-dominated organization, the Unión Sindical Argentina. A small hard core of devoted anarcho-communists remained at the FORA V Congress, although the influence of anarchism in the labor movement had become almost negligible. In 1930 the merger of the Unión Sindical Argentina, the socialist Confederación Obrera Argentina, and the remnants of the FORA gave birth to the Confederación General del Trabajo (CGT).

See alsoLabor Movements .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Diego Abad De Santillán, La F.O.R.A.: Ideología y trayectoría del movimiento obrero revolucionario en la Argentina, 2d ed. (1971).

Ruth Thompson, "The Limitations of Ideology in the Early Argentine Labour Movement: Anarchism in the Trade Unions, 1890–1920," in Journal of Latin American Studies 16 (1984): 81-99.

Ronaldo Munck, with Ricardo Falcón and Bernardo Galitelli, Argentina: From Anarchism to Peronism: Workers, Unions and Politics, 1855–1985 (1987).

Additional Bibliography

López, Antonio. La F.O.R.A. en el movimiento obrero. 2nd ed. Buenos Aires: Tupac Ediciones, 1998.

Palacios, Héctor A. Historia del movimiento obrero argentino. 5 vol. La Plata: H.A. Palacios, 1992–2005.

                                    Eduardo A. Zimmerman

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Federation of Argentine Workers (FOA)