Michele Borzoni



A composite picture of Italy’s current labour landscape

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Workforce is an ambitious documentary project that attempts to draw a composite picture of Italy’s current labour landscape, in the framework of the recent global economic recession.


Due to its structural weaknesses, Italy’s is one of the European Union Member States worst hit by the crisis. Since the strong contraction experienced in 2009, Italy’s economy has shown no clear trend of recovery. An estimated 3.5 million jobs have been lost since 2008 and the country’s unemployment rate has risen from 6,7 to 11,9 percent. An impoverished population is now facing a very uncertain future, as labour protection decreases, enterprise costs remain very high and unregulated or illegal work is on the rise, fuelled by corruption and desperation.

It is the author’s intention to present Italy as a case-study that illustrates not only the effects of the economic downturn on labour, but also how the crisis has noticeably accelerated a set of changes that had been detectable throughout the European Union for decades. These include growing labour insecurity, the deterioration of the old manufacturing sector, the constant rise of the service sector, the automation of production and services, the challenges on local production posed by a globalized economy and the impact of intense migration fluxes from developing countries.

Workforce is divided in nine chapters: Open competitive examinations, Call centers, Bankruptcy auction sales, Industry 4.0, Logistic centers, Chinese textile industry, Migrant agricultural workers, Trade union pickets, and Workers buyouts.