The low unionization of migrant women is frequently explained with their weak condition in the labour market. Nevertheless, migrant women’s experiences highlight the coexistence of conditions of vulnerability and forms of resistance. This paper analyses the ways in which migrant women have faced the economic crisis and labour disputes, underlining the relationship between workers and trade unions in and out of the workplaces. The article considers the experiences of two groups of women holding distinct positions in the Italian labour market: Moroccan and Romanian women. The authors argue that the low rate of unionisation of migrant women is not related to their alleged docility but both to the trade union inability to respond to women who apply for assistance to the union locals, and to the migrant women’s habit of facing individually the conflicts and challenges arising in their workplaces.
Keywords: Migrant women, trade union, economic crisis