Precarious & unrepresented. New workers facing the deficit of rights and social representation

16 DICEMBRE 2015
Auditorium Guido Martinotti, Università Milano Bicocca
Edificio U12—via Vizzola, 5, Milano

International conference:

Precarious & unrepresented. New workers facing the deficit of rights and social representation

The lack of protection and the shortcomings of the representation of workers are topics of increasing relevance. These two phenomena are part of larger processes regarding the destructuring of the labour market, the growing precariousness of the labour force, the reduction of workers’ rights and protection and the weakening of traditional labour unions.
These phenomena have rekindled the debate regarding the dualism of the labour market and the related dichotomy between insider and outsider. The fragmentation of the labour market renders the labour market dualism thesis increasingly less convincing.
Today even those employed in private sector manufacturing jobs, whose number has been diminishing in recent decades, are increasingly at risk of losing their jobs, despite the greater level of protection that the primary labour market has traditionally enjoyed. On the other hand, the number of workers in the secondary market is on the rise and these workers face a vicious circle of occupational instability and a lack of labour union protection. These twofold processes call for a re-consideration of dualization theories.
The lack of representation and protection involves a wide range of subjects: young workers entering the labour market, a growing number of immigrants, temporary and seasonal workers employed in traditional jobs, a diversity of workers engaged in new occupations in the services industry. Traditional labour unions, while losing strength in traditional sectors, are also finding it increasingly difficult to represent workers in new forms and areas of employment, despite the on-going efforts to renew their strategies through new organizational means. Indeed, such a problem brings about the effort to create organizations that offer innovative means of protection that also make use of new communicative technologies.
Research on the type of organizations addressing the most disadvantaged groups in the labour market is still in its early stages, especially in Italy. It is taking on an ever-growing importance, as demonstrated by the research led by Enrico Pugliese entitled “Nuovi soggettidel lavoro e forme di rappresentanza” (New actors in the labour market and new forms of representation). The research ended in 2013 and involved a group of researchers from several universities: La Sapienza (Rome), Federico II (Naples), Milano Statale, Milano Bicocca and the IRPPS-CNR (National Research Council) in Rome.
In this Conference, we discuss this issue from a comparative and international perspective.

9.30- 13.15 New actors on the labour market and the deficit of protection
Chair: Bianca Beccalli, University of Milan
Official welcome:
Cristina Messa, Rector of the University of Milano Bicocca
Antonio Chiesi, Director the Dept. of Political and Social Research, University of Milan
Giampaolo Nuvolati, Director of the Dept. of Sociology and Social Research, University of Milan Bicocca

Massimiliano Tarantino, Director Fondazione Feltrinelli
Are we facing a revolution? The research itinerary from “Spazio Lavoro” to the “Jobless Society Platform”
Enrico Pugliese, Sapienza University of Rome
Introduction. The research itinerary on the new actors in labour market and new forms of representation in Italy in comparative perspective
Ruth Milkman, City University of New York Graduate Centre (CUNY)
Women Workers and the Crisis in the USA: The Rising Significance of Class
Maurizio Ambrosini, University of Milan
Between protection and activism: trade unions and migrants in Europe
Opens the discussion: Serafino Negrelli, University of Milano Bicocca
Programmed interventions: Giovanni Mottura, Fabrizio Pirro, Giustina Orientale Caputo, Matteo Rinaldini

13.15- 14.30 Lunch break

14.30- 18.30 The crisis and the organizational responses of vulnerable actors on the labour market
Chair: Enrico Pugliese, Sapienza University of Rome
Guglielmo Meardi, Warwick Business School
The crack under strain: unequal representation and crisis in Germany and UK
Claudia Danani, National University of General Sarmiento and University of Buenos Aires
Social and Political Bases of Labour and Social Protection. Argentina, 2003-2015 (and beyond?)
Marco Giugni, University of Geneva
New challenges for the welfare state: The emergence of youth unemployment regimes in Europe and their impact
Stefano Boffo and Enrico Rebeggiani, University of Naples Federico II
Labour and representation. Long and short waves of conflict in the case of Naples
Opens the discussion: Enrica Morlicchio, University of Naples Federico II
Programmed interventions:
Paolo Borghi and Guido Cavalca, Aldo Marchetti, Maria Concetta Ambra, Andrea Ciarini, Dante Sabatino
Conclusions: Enzo Mingione, University of Milano Bicocca