Constructing Inequalities: Tenure Trajectories of Immigrant Workers and Union Strategies in the Milan Construction Sector

Lorenzo Frangi, Tingting Zhang, Rupa Banerjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this mixed-methods study, we examined the employment trajectories of immigrant employees in the construction sector in Milan and the role of unions in promoting their labour market inclusion. Drawing on a unique dataset of 417,004 contracts representing more than 166,000 construction workers over a 12-year period (2000–2011), we employed Growth Curve Modelling (GCM) to explore national group differences in contract, firm and sector tenure trajectories. We found Egyptian and Romanian workers suffer from lowest tenure levels. To investigate these results, we conducted 15 interviews with key informants. Results suggested firm characteristics and position along the production process (mono-task), pervasive immigrant hiring queues (mono-national) and union's use of class strategies are interlocking forces that shape deep labour market segregation. We recommend unions develop and apply tailored ethnic strategies to empower highly segregated immigrant groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-502
Number of pages29
JournalBritish Journal of Industrial Relations
Volume59
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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