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When the working class didn’t go to heaven: the politics of industrial conflict in post-war Italy

Event type
Seminar
Series
Modern Italian History
Event dates
, 5:30PM - 7:00PM
Address
Online- via Zoom
Speakers
Matt Myers (Oxford), Niccolò Serri (Cambridge, Fondazione Leonardo)
Contact
ihr.events@sas.ac.uk
Email only

This session will start with two papers respectively by Matt Myers and Niccolo’ Serri (see description below) and will be followed by discussion.

Matt Myers, ‘La marcia dei quarantamila and the remaking of the Italian left: Fiat, 1980, and the afterlives of Italy's changing working class?

“The defeat of the thirty five day strike at Fiat in Autumn 1980 marked a watershed moment in the history of working class politics in Italy. In one of the longest industrial disputes of the post-war era, Italy’s trade union and left organisations faced attempts by the country’s most important company to fundamentally restructure its production. This paper argues that by taking the strike as a prism, a counter-history of neoliberalism “from below” can be uncovered. By centring the voices of the strikes’ participants, the stakes of the struggle for all sides, and the clash between multiple, contradictory social imaginaries, the paper shows that rather than a forgone conclusion, the actors involved understood the strike as a liminal moment where multiple paths to the one taken were both possible and necessary”

Niccolò Serri, ‘I “furti sulle ore": industrial conflict and the politics of unemployment welfare in post-war Italy

“Despite a disturbingly persistent high number of people without work, the Italian system of social insurance against unemployment has been extremely lacking, providing only a meagre dole to those who lost or could not find a job. To compensate for the unbalances of its welfare system, the country has relied on the Cassa Integrazione Guadagni (CIG), a scheme providing a wage replacement allowance to compensate employees for a temporary reduction of their working time. The paper will show how the CIG emerged as an institutional response to the economic and social crisis of the 1970s, proving instrumental to quell industrial conflict and target the basis of unions’ organisational strength within the factories.

All Welcome – This event is free, but booking is required