Expo Milano 2015: The Institutionalization of Working for Free in Italy

  • Roberto Ciccarelli
Keywords: Expo 2015, Precarious employment, Internships, Volunteering, Free labour


This essay reports on the temporary and unpaid forms of labour around which the 2015 World’s Fair (Expo 2015) in Milan is organized and upon which it depends. The collective agreement supporting Expo 2015 is especially significant, the paper contends, in that it has been seized upon by the government of Matteo Renzi as a blueprint for the future of labour relations in Italy. Expo 2015 ushers in the institutionalization of unpaid work in the crisis-stricken Italian economy—a transformation approved by the major Italian trade unions that signed off on the collective agreement, but forcefully opposed by social movements who have decried the expansion of unpaid work permitted by the contract.

Author Biography

Roberto Ciccarelli

Roberto Ciccarelli is a journalist and philosopher based in Rome, Italy. His blog can be found at furiacervelli.blogspot.it.

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