This article focuses on the commodity system of the ready-to-eat bagged salad in Italy, and in particular on the transformations in labour organization and labour relationships in processing plants in the Lombardy Region. Here, the most part of employees are migrant workers, especially of Indian origin. Our analysis concerns three main points. First, a relevant part of the labour operations in processing plants are outsourced to smaller manufacturers or subcontracted to workers’ cooperatives, which mainly employ migrant workers, with the aim of reducing labour costs and reaching a greater production flexibi- lity. Second, labour organization and working shifts are explicitly organized to meet retail chains’ just-in-time requirements. Third, some trade unions officers act as mediators between management and migrant workers in defining labour organization in the processing plants. The field study is based upon thirty-eight in-depth interviews with actors at all the levels of this commodity chain.

(2022). Subcontracted Migrant Labour and Just-in-time Retail Chain Requirements: A Qualitative Research on the Bagged Salad Commodity System in Northern Italy [journal article - articolo]. In REVUE EUROPÉENNE DES MIGRATIONS INTERNATIONALES. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10446/232609

Subcontracted Migrant Labour and Just-in-time Retail Chain Requirements: A Qualitative Research on the Bagged Salad Commodity System in Northern Italy

Perrotta, Domenico;Lo Cascio, Martina
2022-01-01

Abstract

This article focuses on the commodity system of the ready-to-eat bagged salad in Italy, and in particular on the transformations in labour organization and labour relationships in processing plants in the Lombardy Region. Here, the most part of employees are migrant workers, especially of Indian origin. Our analysis concerns three main points. First, a relevant part of the labour operations in processing plants are outsourced to smaller manufacturers or subcontracted to workers’ cooperatives, which mainly employ migrant workers, with the aim of reducing labour costs and reaching a greater production flexibi- lity. Second, labour organization and working shifts are explicitly organized to meet retail chains’ just-in-time requirements. Third, some trade unions officers act as mediators between management and migrant workers in defining labour organization in the processing plants. The field study is based upon thirty-eight in-depth interviews with actors at all the levels of this commodity chain.
articolo
Cet article se concentre sur le système de production de la salade en sachet prête à consommer en Italie, et en particulier sur les transformations de l’organisation et des relations de travail dans les usines de transformation dans la région de Lombardie. Ici, la plupart des employés sont des travailleurs migrants, notamment d’origine indienne. Notre analyse porte sur trois points principaux. Premièrement, une partie importante des opérations de travail dans les usines de transformation est externalisée à des usines plus petites ou sous-traitée à des coopératives de travailleurs, qui emploient principalement des travailleurs migrants, dans le but de réduire les coûts de la main-d’œuvre et d’atteindre une plus grande flexibilité de production. Deuxièmement, l’organisation et les temps de travail sont explicitement organisés pour répondre aux exigences just-in-time des chaînes de la distribution. Troisièmement, certains responsables syndicaux font office de médiateurs entre la direction et les travailleurs migrants pour définir l’organisation du travail dans les usines de transformation. L’étude de terrain est basée sur trente-huit entretiens qualitatifs approfondis avec des acteurs à tous les niveaux du secteur.
Perrotta, Domenico Claudio; LO CASCIO, Martina
(2022). Subcontracted Migrant Labour and Just-in-time Retail Chain Requirements: A Qualitative Research on the Bagged Salad Commodity System in Northern Italy [journal article - articolo]. In REVUE EUROPÉENNE DES MIGRATIONS INTERNATIONALES. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10446/232609
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