Journal article

Precarious work and the reluctance to complain: Italian temporary migrant workers in Australia

Iain Campbell, Maria Azzurra Tranfaglia, Joo-Cheong Tham, Martina Boese

LABOUR & INDUSTRY-A JOURNAL OF THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC RELATIONS OF WORK | ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD | Published : 2019

Abstract

The reluctance of many temporary migrant workers (TMWs) to challenge poor wages and conditions is an important puzzle for both research and policy. This article explores the puzzle by drawing on in-depth interviews with Italian TMWs who have had recent work experience in food services and/or farms in Australia. The article describes their experiences of precarious work, marked by widespread and systematic underpayment of wages in breach of minimum wage regulation. It shows that few Italian TMWs challenged underpayments, whether through collective or indivi-dual action. The article reviews the varied rationales offered by the interviewees for their reluctance to pursue an individual complaint ..

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