Sep 16 – 17, 2021
Palazzo Strozzi
Europe/Rome timezone

Organizing the Big-Tech. Comparing Unionism at Amazon in Italy and Germany

Sep 17, 2021, 12:00 PM
Altana (Palazzo Strozzi)


Palazzo Strozzi

Track 2 5.1


Riccardo Emilio Chesta (Scuola Normale Superiore)


This paper analyzes the cycle of worker contention at Amazon logistics in Italy and Germany, trying to see the variation in the forms of mobilizations and the role of traditional unions (CGIL and Ver.Di) in a key multinational restructuring urban logistics. Data collected on protest event coverage, interviews with key informants and documents produced by unions and worker organizations will give a comparative overview of variations and similarities of worker power, repertoire of action and claims. The goal is to explains on the one hand, how technology has affected working conditions and on the other hand, how worker organizing triggered specific forms of unionism in the two countries. In this sense, the approach looks more at the institutional and country specific conditions as key explanatory factors defining different or similar dynamics and outcomes of worker mobilization. While the comparative analysis disconfirms any determinism regarding technological innovation, it also shows how previous collective bargaining institutions and the regulation of employment relations system plays a central role.

Primary author

Riccardo Emilio Chesta (Scuola Normale Superiore)

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