Since the onset of the economic crisis in 2007, restructuring or corporate reorganisation programmes have followed one another. Depending on whether the objective is to "help companies" cushion the effects associated with cyclical changes in production activity or to supervise restructuring processes and sectorial crises, public policies may support bargaining procedures aimed at protecting employment levels and only indirectly the work activity. The aim of this contribution is to discuss the scope for trade union action in the light of the resources employed by trade union representatives in the face of short-time working and the effects it has on work organisation and working conditions. In this perspective, this contribution has a double objective: to analyse the consequences of a period of partial activity on work activity, organization and working conditions, articulating the reflection, based on the analysis of the discursive registers, on the margins of union intervention. The analysis mobilizes the observations made on five automotive plants located in different Italian regions.
Keywords: Partial unemployment, trade union action, work organization, automotive industry