Political, General or Economic Strikes? New Types of Strikes and Workers' Contention


The article provides an overview of workers' collective actions occurred in Italy, characterizing a new wave of contention between 2008 and 2018. It focuses on the development of strike activities. While the literature suggests an increase in general/political strikes and a decline of economic strikes, we argue that this distinction does not sufficiently account for the variety of strikes that has recently occurred. Our contribution aims to clarify the differences between three types of strikes: general political strike, general/large-scale economic strike and local economic strike. The empirical analysis is based on a new dataset on workers' collective actions, including strikes, observed in Italy in the decade 2008-2018. The dataset was built using protest event analysis (PEA). Multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) allows us to show that the three types of strikes differ along the actors promoting them, the workers' occupations involved, the issues claimed, the scale of action and the target of the actions. Conclusions compare the characteristics of workers contention between 2008 and 2018 with the old cycle of protest and suggest to join economic and political explanations of strikes to account for the new types of strikes.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i20356609v16i2p234

Keywords: Collective action; industrial relations; social movement; strike; trade unions


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