YOUNG WORKERS IN FLEXIBLE CAPITALISM
the Brazilian civil aviation experience
In this article, we analyse the use of young workers to promote new patterns of work utilisation, illustrating the discussion with an example from Brazilian civil aviation. Data were collected in Brazil during a PhD research. Here we are going to focus on the qualitative element of the study, which draws on 52 interviews with airline and airport workers from a legacy airline (TAM), three low fares companies (GOL, Azul and Webjet) and agencies that provide ground handling services (Swissport and Aero-Park), complemented by three focus groups with a total of 16 workers from low-cost airlines (GOL, Azul, Webjet, Trip). Participants were sampled through local trade union representatives at major airports in São Paulo (Guarulhos and Campinas) and Rio de Janeiro (Galeão and Santos Dumont). Our data shed light on a very dynamic sector that has been making intensive use of a young labour force during a moment of renovation of its competitors, including the low-cost airlines. Thus, our results dwell on the importance of young workers in the implementation of new patterns of labour utilization.