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Valeria Piro

General field of research

Sociological studies

Project by

Devi Sacchetto, Università degli Studi di Padova

  • Abstract
  • In 2015, in the Italian labour market, there were roughly 2.4 million migrant workers of both sexes, equal to just below 10% of total employed persons. Of this figure, approximately 40-50% were part of a trade union. The workplace is a place that offers opportunities for inclusion and active participation in working and daily life; at the same time, it can also be a place of discrimination and exclusion. This research project therefore analyzes the social relations between Italian and foreign workers in their workplace. In addition, this study examines the relations between immigrants and trade unions. In particular, the project seeks to answer these research questions: What is the role of gender, skin color and citizenship in the social practices in work contexts? How do subcontracting and temporary work contracts affect daily social relations? Does the presence of immigrant workers change trade union strategies? What implications does the fragmentation of the working process have on relations between unions and workers (both Italian and immigrant)?

    The research is conducted along two lines. The first axis studies the literature on international migration, working practices and industrial relations. The second is an empirical analysis carried out with qualitative methods (interviews and focus groups). The specific aim is to study two slaughterhouses, one in Veneto and the other one in Emilia-Romagna, given the prevalence in these regions of businesses that employ large numbers of immigrant workers and that are characterized by the fragmentation of the productive process and by ongoing processes of unionization.

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