The Struggles of Immigrant Workers in the Logistics Sector in Italy

Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal 48 (Main Building)
Distributed Paper
Rossana CILLO, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy
Since 2008 the logistics sector in Italy has been affected by an increasing number of strikes, that have been successful thanks to the organisation activities by the independent trade union Si-Cobas, the support of far left organisations and, last but not least, the self-activation of precarious immigrant workers employed in the co-operative enterprises of the subcontracting system. These strikes had a strong impact on the most important logistics hubs of Northern Italy (such as Bologna, Padua and Piacenza) and have temporary blocked the “just-in-time” commodities’ circulation of the most important multinational corporations in the logistics (TNT, DHL, GLS, SDA, Bartolini...), in the e-commerce industry (Yoox), in the large-scale distribution (Coop, Esselunga, Ikea) and in food industry (Granarolo). 

Even if state and employers have reacted with a severe repression, these strikes represent by far the most important struggles that have developed in Italy as a result of the crisis and the very first attempt to organize a workers’ struggle outside the social-democratic unions, which are more and more accepting compromises with capital at the national level.