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Communication & Society

The regulations for the scheme were approved in November and it officially started in January In , there were some regulatory modifications and in the scheme was included in the "Occupational Diseases Insurance" The core of the scheme was the system for compensating workers who were so badly affected by silicosis that they could not longer work or, if they died, for compensating their dependants. Silicotics who were retired and the families of those who had died when this legislation came into force were also eligible for compensation by retroactive application of the scheme.

At any rate, these theoretically high benefits were engulfed by inflation and the scarcity of basic goods As in former regulations, the scheme introduced initial and periodic medical examinations, relocating workers diagnosed with first-degree silicosis to dust-free workplaces. Finally, the scheme included loose preventive recommendations without the implementation of statutory regulations. The scheme was managed by the Labour Ministry and was entirely funded by employers through a levy on the industry. In , the direct administration of the Scheme was entrusted to an Administrative Council, with representation of employers and workers from the vertical trade unions.

The Council was responsible for granting compensation to applicants, for establishing the levy for each industrial group depending on the level of risk, and for deciding which industrial sectors should be included in the scheme. To this end, all cases of silicosis in any industry had to be reported to the Council In contrast to the wide cover of previous regulations, the Silicosis Scheme had a very narrow scope. In , only lead and gold mining and the refractory industry were covered by the insurance. Eventually, in January , the scheme was widened to include coal mining Extension of the scheme was mainly prevented by the economic burden implied, especially if the so-called "revolutionary" principle of retroactive compensation had to be applied.

This was the case of iron-mining in the Basque Country. In , the Government had announced its imminent inclusion into the scheme but this was prevented by employers' resistance The attitude of employers towards their inclusion in the compulsory scheme ranged from open rejection to full acceptance. The latter was the case of gold mining. In , the Rodalquilar mines were confiscated under the autarchic legislation, and in mining was started by ADARO, a subsidiary of the state-owned National Industrial Company.

Surprisingly, given the small workforce and short period in operation, former miners applied for and were granted retroactive silicosis compensation Propaganda played an essential role in presenting silicosis as a legacy from the former operators to be contrasted unfavourably with the paternal and rapid generosity of the New State in providing compensation and solving the problem. The case of refractory industries was quite different. Widely distributed throughout the country in small family companies, employers practiced passive resistance to participation in the scheme, which paralleled the lack of governmental will to enforce the law.

By December , when the voluntary deadline to join the scheme came to an end, only 5 firms had registered, covering workers. Registrations increased during the s, so that 1, firms were included in the scheme by , covering some 30, workers. The great variety of productive processes involved, the diverse nature of materials employed and the wide range of levels of exposure led to companies being considered in four categories: china and feldspar industry, refractory and abrasive industries, glazed pottery, and ordinary pottery. The number of workers granted compensation was very low.

Strong resistance was also shown by companies in lead mining. One out of three of these payments was funded by the WACB as an example of collaboration with the industry and social commitment. Neither this contribution nor the active engagement and influence of the National Lead Producers Association in the drafting of the scheme prevented growing conflict with the WACB. In April , the Director of the Board described the cooperation of firms with the scheme as "heart-breaking".

Employers traditionally complained about the economic burden that the scheme placed on an industry in crisis and about their difficulty in replacing specialised workers declared unfit to work after the compulsory medical examination. Pressure from the employers reaped rewards: lead miners were released from military service and the levy on the industry was reduced.

Participation in the scheme grew: in , it included 36 firms covering 4, miners and in , 92 firms covering 9, miners, practically the whole sector. However, the opposition of employers persisted. Compulsory medical examinations were carried out at a slow pace. In , managers even refused to suspend from work employees who had been declared unfit by the examination, and many men diagnosed with first-degree silicosis continued to be employed in work that involved exposure. Finally, companies regularly refused to pay insurance premiums Coal mining employers showed little reluctance and preferred to meet formal governmental demands, becoming engaged in the scheme without delay.

The number of workers covered ranged from 72, miners in to more than 88, in , matching the increase in the workforce Nevertheless, compulsory medical examinations progressed very slowly. Officially, this was because of the large size of this group and the shortage of X-ray plates and other supplies. In fact, employers hampered examinations, which could withdraw from the labour market skilled workers in great demand, posing a threat to production Vertical unions kept a very low profile in this early stage, paralleling the attitude of passive rejection adopted by Spanish workers in the postwar years.

A more active role was played in the late s and early s, when workers started to use the Francoist labour institutions to defend their interests, particularly the Provincial Labour Tribunals, created in under the Labour Charter Thus, the unions began to issue some declarations against abuses, especially the failure to remove first-degree silicotics from face-work and their loss of purchasing power when transferred to surface work The application of strict criteria during the s minimized the number of silicotics approved for compensation under the Silicosis Scheme Figure 2 shows the total number and percentage of workers awarded compensation in these three main industries during the five-year period from to total number: Gold mining has not been included as only eight workers were granted compensation in that period.

As can be seen in Figure 3 , lead mining remained the highest-risk occupation in terms of silicosis compensation. In the five-year period from to , workers were granted compensation. This represents a compensation rate of The existence of a significant gap between declared social policies and their implementation at the workplace is not the sole prerogative of a dictatorship.

In the case of the campaign against silicosis in early Francoist Spain, the propagandistic nature of the regime's social policy, the harsh restriction of workers' freedoms and the lack of governmental will to enforce the law all contributed to widening this gap. While the initial decisions taken by the new State followed the Republican approach to silicosis, a radical change was imposed in May by the arrival of members of the fascist party to head the Labour Ministry.

Social insurance and compensation were prioritised, to the detriment of medical supervision and technical prevention. Employers' reluctance to become involved in the insurance scheme, its narrow coverage, the application of strict criteria for compensation entitlement and the low payments all contributed to minimise the benefits of social insurance despite its propagandistic use. Republican labour and health administrators, following ILO guidelines, soon recognised the significance of silicosis.

This period also saw the development of a more comprehensive approach to occupational health. It was embodied in several organisational changes designed to strengthen the links between the preventive dimension and social insurance policies, changes that were poorly implemented due to political crisis and the outbreak of the Civil War. I am grateful to participants for their valuable comments. I also thank Manuel Baselga, Paul Blanc, Javier Silvestre, and the anonymous referees and editors of this dossier for their helpful suggestions.

Historia Del Siglo Xx - AbeBooks

Rosner, David; Markowitz, Gerald, eds. In: Rosemberg, Charles E. Framing Disease: Studies in Cultural History. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press; , p. Princeton: Princeton University Press; Katz, Elaine N. Stockholm: National Institute for Working Life; , p. A long-lasting pandemic: diseases caused by dust containing silica: Italy within the international context. Medicina del Lavoro. Bulletin for the History of Medicine.

Social History of Medicine. Medical History.


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Scottish Labour History. Miners' Lung: A history of dust disease in British coal mining. La Lettre de la Mire.

Historia Del Siglo Xx

Only local historians, especially labour historians interested in the Franco Regime, have addressed this industrial disease, which is central to understanding both social and labour relations in some key sectors of the Spanish economy and the workers' movement in interwar and Franco Spain. Los mineros asturianos bajo el franquismo La clase obrera asturiana durante el franquismo. Empleo, condiciones de trabajo y conflicto Accidentes y enfermedades profesionales de los mineros: realidad y derecho.

Memoria de España - España, España

In: Huertas, Rafael; Campos, Ricardo, eds. Madrid: FIM; , p. ILO encouraged the establishing of standard national industrial-welfare legislation in the interwar years, mainly concerned with the extension of social insurance benefits, including compensation for accidents and occupational diseases. In addition to this programme, which was aimed at giving social stability to the post-war order, ILO studies and reports on occupational health in the early s became instrumental in supporting workers' national demands for better workplace health conditions and in fostering medical profession awareness of industrial hazards, including those posed by silica dust inhalation.

Weindling, Paul. In: International health organisations and movements, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; , p. In: Grieco, A. Origins of Occupational Health Associations in the World. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science B. Spanish social reformist's concerns were extended to several disorders identified as "social diseases" and defined both by their social aetiology and their demographic and economic impact, such as tuberculosis and infant mortality.


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  • Hygiea Internationalis. Porras Gallo, Maria Isabel. Medicine, social security, and occupational disabilities in Spain in the first half of the twentieth century. Historia ciencia saude-Manguinhos.

    Hacia los seguros sociales obligatorios. Madrid: Ministerio de Trabajo y Seguridad Social; Cuesta Bustillo, n. Porras Gallo, n. Consejo de Trabajo. Madrid: Imp. El Centenillo: De higiene minera. Higiene contra la anemia de los mineros. Nacimientos del movimiento obrero. Gaceta de Madrid.

    Bibliografía ordenada por temas y por fechas de publicación

    Oviedo: Esc. Madrid: Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad Central; Bilbao: Imprenta Editorial Moderna; Madrid, Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad Central; This doctoral dissertation provided original data on 15 silicosis sufferers from the iron mines of Somorrostro. La Medicina Ibera. Estudio de las pneumoconiosis. Lartitegui Arenaza, n. Madrid: Siglo XXI; , p. Bureau International du Travail. La Silicose. International Labour Organisation. International Labour Conventions and Recommendations, Geneve: ILO; This commitment was especially welcomed by ILO chief Albert Thomas, who expressed satisfaction at the capacity of the democratic republican government to match fascist regimes' social policy achievements.

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    Cuesta Bustillo, Josefina. Especially following his marriage to aristocrat Natalia Figueroa in , Raphael had close personal and political ties with the Francoist elite and he provides a particularly blatant example of how celebrities courted and were courted by the dictatorial regime. In interviews as in his lyrics, he sought to avoid political commentary but, when pushed, he made his sentiments if not his words clear:. Te juro que no entiendo nada.

    Me produjo un respeto imponente. Ahora, si de pronto, viene el rey Juan Carlos o. During the s and early s, this led many to assume that he was an opportunist whose fame would be transitory. Raphael is a fascinating case-study in that he helps contextualise the distrust of popular culture in the Spanish academy, an unsatisfactory state of affairs of which he is both a victim and perpetrator. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

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    Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves. El editor G. Gili los primeros 5. En una carta del 5 de noviembre de dirigida a Max Leclerc dirigente de la casa Armand Colin , M. Tras esta voz de alarma, G. Gili propone el 10 de diciembre de enviar la lista de colegios e institutos para que se mande un ejemplar de muestra a cada uno de los centros docentes.

    Leclerc y G. En la misma carta del 3 de abril de el editor M. Leclerc contesta a las solicitaciones de G. Pierre, A. Minet, A. Minet, L. Barcelona, Editorial Gustavo Gili, Comentado por D. Karr, T. Delord, L. El alba , Romain Rolland. La adolescencia , Romain Rolland. La feria en la plaza , Romain Rolland.