The article discuss the effects of the crisis on the condition of the industrial workers. It focuses on the condition of the workers who periodically benefited of layoff fund (CIG) and the subsequent implications for union representation. The article is based on the results of a study which involved the workers of a powertrain plant in Southern Italy. The research explores the dimensions of the vulnerability of this industrial workers in a peculiar condition. Major indicators are found in the reduction of wages, the deteriorating of the family living conditions (growth of poverty and debt), but it emerges also a process of deterioration of the working conditions and the intensification of the exploitation of labor. This is the typical condition of mid-siders workers. This defines a different orientation towards the unions and new and different expectations of union representation.
Keywords: Industrial workers, layoff fund, working conditions, social vulnerability, union representation