1. Language barriers can hinder the collective organization of multi-ethnic migrant workers in the labour sector.
2. An ethnographic study of S.I. Cobas multi-ethnic migrant workers in Italy identified three linguistic practices that help overcome language barriers: translation, lingua franca, and humour.
3. These practices constitute an "improvised language of solidarity" that supports participatory organizing and facilitates communication within and between different language groups.
The article "The improvised language of solidarity: Linguistic practices in the participatory labour-organizing processes of multi-ethnic migrant workers" by Gabriella Cioce, Marek Korczynski, and Davide Però explores the linguistic practices that help overcome language barriers faced by multi-ethnic migrant workers in collective labor organization. The authors argue that an improvised language of solidarity develops from, and can significantly support, participatory organizing.
The article provides a comprehensive review of the existing literature on labor organizing and its implications for union-migrant worker relations. It highlights the need for developing multicultural solidaristic practices among trade unions interested in representing migrant workers' multiple needs effectively. However, the article overlooks some important aspects of labor organizing, such as power dynamics between union organizers and workers and the role of capitalism in creating precarious working conditions for migrant workers.
The authors adopt an actor-centered approach to examine how multi-ethnic migrant workers overcome significant ethnocultural and linguistic diversity and organize. They point to three key practices – translations, lingua franca, and humor – which S.I. Cobas migrant workers used to overcome linguistic barriers and gain multiple outcomes. However, the article does not provide enough evidence to support their claims about these practices' effectiveness in facilitating solidarity among multi-ethnic migrant workers.
Moreover, the article does not explore potential biases or sources of partiality that may have influenced their findings. For example, the authors do not consider how their positionality as researchers may have affected their interpretation of data or how S.I. Cobas's political ideology may have influenced their organizing practices.
Overall, while this article provides valuable insights into linguistic practices that facilitate participatory organizing among multi-ethnic migrant workers, it overlooks some important aspects of labor organizing and does not provide enough evidence to support its claims fully. Future research should address these limitations to develop a more nuanced understanding of labor organizing among diverse groups of workers.