The meager gains that individual labor groups made had been achieved at a very high cost both to their membership and to the working class in general. Prior to Omar Torrijos's ascent to power, active labor groups had a reputation for feistiness and for ruthless labor agitation but gained no consideration or recognition from those in political control. Since the eighteenth century the working class of Panama has included a highly fluid population in the transit area, with many adventurers and fortune seekers as well as ordinary laborers. The Federacion Obrera considered itself the representative of a labor movement that followed Western democratic ideals, and its sphere of action was a capitalistic economic system. The decade also witnessed four major movements of labor unrest involving the banana and sugarcane workers and the typographers' union. The Panamanian labor movement continues to suffer from several structural problems that have been almost insurmountable and that weaken its position.