In this new political and economic context, the 1982 and 1994 financial crises have contributed to a redefinition of the relations between unions and the state, especially with regard to labour market deregulation, but also regarding capital-labour relations (Zapata 6-10; Delgado 1-19). The direct effect of the new economic and labour context has been to make employment more precarious, with a general reduction in wages. This has been going on for nearly 20 years (Cortes 12-19).
Income levels, already low in 1980, declined even further in the next few years. For example, the minimum wage shows an uninterrupted tendency to fall steadily over the last 20 years, and by 1998 it was worth only 31 per cent of its 1980 value. Average working incomes have also been badly hit and have continued to go down during this period. In the first half of the 1990s there was some improvement in average incomes, but not enough to restore wages to the values they had in the early 1980s. The crisis of December 1994 reduced salaries again, and this state of affairs has continued pretty much up until now (2002). ...Show more