Going Beyond Competition between Migrant and Native Workers in the Cleaning Services Industry

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 16:00
Oral Presentation
Angela M. TOFFANIN, University of Padova, Italy
Francesca Alice VIANELLO, University of Padua, Italy
The cleaning services industry is a sector particularly interesting in order to analyse the impact of the globalisation of labour markets on terms and conditions of work, since it is characterized by bad working conditions, the penetration of multinational companies in the domestic market and a multilingual and multi-ethnic female labour force. At the same time, the analysis can reveal unforeseen capacities of workers to resist negative transformation.

The paper explores the transformations of the Italian cleaning services industry that have occurred throughout the last 20 years, considering in particular the progressive worsening of employment conditions and the new scenarios of alliances between different kind of workers that are taking place in this sector.

An original qualitative research on migrant and native workers experiences in Veneto (North-East Italy) examines the effects of several measures including externalization of services, labour market flexibilization, subcontracting, rise of temp agencies on employment standards and competition among migrant and native workers. Moreover, in this context of flexibilization and precarization of employment, the paper analyses the relationship between native and migrant people and how they are responding to reductions in pay and deteriorations in working conditions.

The study was co-financed by the EU programme “Europe for citizens” with the project “Towards shared interests between migrant and local workers”.