Labour Relations and Labour Structures in Mediterranean Capitalism. Caporalato and Romanian Migration in the Southern Italian Agriculture

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Abstract

In this paper I will examine the structural and social features of the gang-mastered labour system (caporalato) as it appears in the agricultural production process in Italy. I will discuss the functions of this type of labour regime through an analysis of the role (Romanian) migrant labour plays in the Italian agriculture process and its need for the (informal) labour market mediation in agriculture. My aim is to critically map the function of caporalato within a production circuit that starts with the low price imposed on agricultural goods, and ends up at the top of the production process, namely with the food empires and corporate retail and distribution chains. The economic constraint for an ever cheaper labourforce, and its social context, will guide our critique of caporalato

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