This article aims to analyze subcontracted workers’ organization processes in Argentina’s steel industry through an ethnographical approach. Steel industry has been largely affected by the globalization process: production has been reorganized on a new territorial basis, new productive chains have been set up and a new collective laborer has emerged. The article assumes that a global capitalist accumulation process underlies the making and remaking of labor forces and working classes, which assume particular features in diverse contexts. It analyzes those processes, pointing out to subcontracting processes in a two-fold perspective: as processes of class differentiation in working conditions, wage level, benefits and careers; and as an expression of processes of working class reorganization through collective action. The main conclusion is that in the Argentine steel industry, subcontracted workers’ demands have been at the core of these rankand-file organization processes, and union leaders have been able to organize and include them in a relatively traditional unionist perspective.
Keywords: Working class, steel industry, labor relations, unionism