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The expansion of export horticulture in the South has generated new employment opportunities in many rural areas. However, commercial pressures have contributed to the increased use of flexible labour in export horticulture hereby reducing worker s job security. This paper seeks to understand the influence of job insecurity on perceived labour agency in the case of pineapple workers in Costa Rica, a context dominated by migrant labour and weak unionisation. Survey data was collected among 385 pineapple plantation workers in 2016. The results of the multinomial probit models indicated that job insecurity, by using both an objective and subjective proxy, reduced the likelihood of engaging in forthright actions (such as protests, voicing concerns or joining a union), while it increased the likelihood of evasive (such as leaving the job) or repressed actions (such as doing nothing). The analysis complements previous evidence of a preservation mechanism, which means that job insecure workers avoid the risk of losing their job by flying under the radar (preferring evasive and repressed actions to forthright actions). This reflects the constrained voice of job insecure workers and has implications for unions, employers and policymakers who play a role in shaping the potential for labour agency. Acknowledgement : This study was funded by a Special Research Grant of Ghent University. We highly appreciated the willingness of pineapple workers, unions, managers, government officials and other stakeholders to participate in the study. Special thanks go to the local enumerators of Universidad de Costa Rica who helped conducting the surveys and Centro de Estudios para el Desarrollo Rural who facilitated the logistic organisation of the fieldwork. The support and suggestions of Deborah Martens, Eline D'Haene, Jan Orbie and Katharina Krumbiegel were invaluable for this article.


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