Latin America: Padding the Payrolls

Featherbedding is a business malaise in many parts of the world, but in Latin America it is a hallowed institution enjoyed by the participants, cheered by the masses and endorsed by the politicians. Now the feather beds are getting softer than ever.

Four Men to a Job. The problem spreads across the whole range of industry. At least 5,000 of Bolivia's 25,000 mineworkers and 30,000 of Argentina's 180,000 railway workers are superfluous. Chile's creaking national railroad employs 87 men per mile of track v. 27 in Britain, where that number is considered...

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