This is Chapter 10 of an international volume dealing with labour relations in Southern Europe between the 19th and 20th centuries. Using a source little explored by historians, that of the probiviral courts, the essay analyses the subject of labour arbitration as a form of regulation and resolution of individual labour conflicts in Italy between the 19th and 20th centuries. Labour arbitration involved large numbers of workers, above all in the most industrialised area. The paper contemplates two diversely representative contexts for the Italian case: Florence, considered “the most artisan of Italian cities”, and Milan, the most industrially advanced city in the country. Individual conflicts were caused by dissent of an economic nature, but also by cultural clashes that concerned the identities of workers and entrepreneurs in their patterns of behaviour and power relations, involving symbolic elements and rituals structuring relations within the working environment. This complex topic is investigated through a few examples, chosen around some key themes, those that occur most often in disputes, but also those that re- veal interesting matters, difficult to find from other sources, such as: gender is- sues; the “bad character” of the workers; strikes and politics; job insecurity and labour mobility, and the situation of women in the workplace. The disputes appear in this light as a significant social space for the actual determination of the scope and limits of the masters’ authority. These cases, however isolated, through recognition or sanction by a judicial institution, ap- pear to us to have a paradigmatic value: they act as patterns that reinforce spe- cific behaviour and contribute to building a common sense in which new rela- tionships and new limits of entrepreneurial authority were realised.

Labour Conflicts: The Case of Labour Arbitration in Italy during the Early Twentieth Century

Pellegrino
2020

Abstract

This is Chapter 10 of an international volume dealing with labour relations in Southern Europe between the 19th and 20th centuries. Using a source little explored by historians, that of the probiviral courts, the essay analyses the subject of labour arbitration as a form of regulation and resolution of individual labour conflicts in Italy between the 19th and 20th centuries. Labour arbitration involved large numbers of workers, above all in the most industrialised area. The paper contemplates two diversely representative contexts for the Italian case: Florence, considered “the most artisan of Italian cities”, and Milan, the most industrially advanced city in the country. Individual conflicts were caused by dissent of an economic nature, but also by cultural clashes that concerned the identities of workers and entrepreneurs in their patterns of behaviour and power relations, involving symbolic elements and rituals structuring relations within the working environment. This complex topic is investigated through a few examples, chosen around some key themes, those that occur most often in disputes, but also those that re- veal interesting matters, difficult to find from other sources, such as: gender is- sues; the “bad character” of the workers; strikes and politics; job insecurity and labour mobility, and the situation of women in the workplace. The disputes appear in this light as a significant social space for the actual determination of the scope and limits of the masters’ authority. These cases, however isolated, through recognition or sanction by a judicial institution, ap- pear to us to have a paradigmatic value: they act as patterns that reinforce spe- cific behaviour and contribute to building a common sense in which new rela- tionships and new limits of entrepreneurial authority were realised.
Labour History in the European Semi-periphery. Southern Europe, 19th-20th centuries
253
276
Pellegrino
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/734263
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