This chapter provides a cross-country comparison of union stances towards immigration and migrant workers by following the analytical framework discussed in the introduction. First, it provides an analysis of union responses to the three ‘dilemmas’. It subsequently comments on the extent to which the explanatory variables included in the framework account for observed differences across countries. Our comparative analysis has resulted in the identification of patterns in unions’ policies and actions across three groups of countries: the central-eastern European countries – the Czech Republic and Poland – whose trade unions have relatively undeveloped policies in relation to immigration and migrant workers; the north-west European countries – Austria, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK – whose trade unions have focused on the defence of migrant workers’ conditions in the labour market; and the Mediterranean countries – France, Italy and Spain – in which the defence of social rights has also been important.
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Stefania Marino, Judith Roosblad and Rinus Penninx
Jason Heyes and Thomas Hastings
European labour markets and labour market policies have been substantially affected by the economic crisis that unfolded after 2008. Following the initial increase in government spending aimed at offsetting the financial crisis, EU countries began, to varying degrees, to embrace austerity, cutting public spending while seeking to reignite economic growth by introducing structural reforms. This chapter examines the impact of the crisis on the labour markets of different EU member countries and the policies that have been adopted to address these impacts. The chapter also examines the consequences of the crisis for migration within the EU. The chapter concludes with some reflections on the current policy drift within the EU and the implications for the European Commission’s flexicurity agenda and ambitions relating to Europe 2020.
This chapter describes and analyses French trade unions’ attitudes and actions towards immigration and migrant workers during the past two decades. In terms of immigration, France is nowadays in median position in Europe, with foreign-born persons accounting for 11.6 per cent of the resident population in 2009–10, but a migrants’ direct offspring that is more numerous – though less visible – than immigrants themselves. Under the influence of the surge of the Front National, an unwelcoming climate and restrictive immigration and integration policies have become dominant characteristics of the context in which trade unions have dealt with migrant workers. While French trade unions had a long tradition in organizing migrant workers, they appear less able to play a key role in the process of migrant workers’ integration in a more competitive, flexible and segmented labour market. The trade unions’ practice of using the principle of equality as their main weapon leads to significant trade union support action for migrant workers, who nonetheless lack or have a weak legal status.
Stefania Marino, Rinus Penninx and Judith Roosblad
The book offers an analysis of the relationship between trade unions, immigration and migrant workers across 11 European countries in the period between 1990 and 2015. This introductory chapter explains the editors’ approach to this study, which is based on the comparative framework as developed in an earlier book by Penninx and Roosblad in 2000. This framework is critically reconsidered and its validity is checked in the light of recent contextual changes. It informs the development of the main questions that will underpin both the structure and content of the 11 country cases and the comparative analysis presented in the concluding chapter. In addition, this introduction addresses relevant methodological aspects and outlines the structure of the book.
Alberta Giorgi and Tommaso Vitale
The chapter focuses on public and political discourse about ‘migrants’ in Europe, which frames the relationship between migrants and trade unions, and offers an overview of the main issues at stake. The authors develop an original analysis of European citizens’ attitudes towards migrants using ESS data. These data show that hostility towards immigrants is related primarily to individual attitudes, characteristics and behaviour, namely, to age, education, residential area and, especially, political affiliation as well as the level of commitment and engagement in associations and charities. Therefore politics, political cultures and political behaviour are key factors to understand racism and intolerance. The chapter focuses on the factors influencing migration policy-making, including the role of the mass media in shaping interpretations and policy instruments. The authors subsequently explore how migrations are framed in the public domain and policies. Finally, they examine how migrants are imagined as members of society, exploring the main narratives used to talk about their integration.
The historical development of immigration in Europe, its geographical pattern, the types of migration and the characteristics of migrants are described in the first part of this chapter. It concludes that immigration has become a relevant issue in all EU countries, though different in time, form and intensity. Immigration policies of receiving countries greatly influence the volume and patterns of migration, the place of settlement and the characteristics of migrants. Integration policies influence significantly the position of immigrants in their new destination and their access to the labour market. The second part of this chapter outlines three different migration and integration regimes in Europe. Trade unions in European countries are thus confronted with different forms of migration, with different migration and integration regimes, and with different types of migrants. Their attitudes and actions on immigration and migrants should be seen in the light of such different starting positions.
Judith Roosblad and Lisa Berntsen
The conditions under which Dutch trade unions have to operate have changed since the 1990s. Dutch trade unions have suffered a decline in membership and a loss of institutional power. They have been redefining their role in the socio-economic decision-making process and inventing new ways of representing the interests of the working population. The Dutch labour market has changed significantly over the last two decades, with employment becoming increasingly flexible. The number of migrant workers, mostly from Central and Eastern Europe, in the low-skill segments of the Dutch job market has increased, especially since the EU enlargement rounds in 2004 and 2007. These workers are embedded in a labour market governed by host and home-country regulations as well as EU legislation. In view of these developments, this chapter discusses how trade unions in the Netherlands have defined their position towards immigration and migrant workers, and whether and how they have included these workers in unionism.
Anders Neergaard and Charles Woolfson
This chapter explores the current dynamics of the so-called ‘Swedish model’ of industrial relations based upon neocorporatist ‘self-regulation’ by the main labour market actors. The chapter suggests that labour migration in particular has added new and complex ingredients to the previous underpinnings of that model, shifting the balance of power between employers and trade unions, and in important respects, it may now be a ‘model in dissolution’. For trade unions, labour migration to Sweden, both on a temporary and more permanent basis, now poses in the context of the neoliberal reconstruction of Sweden’s economy and society sharp dilemmas in terms of how to respond to resultant significant changes in the nature of employment and their impacts on a previously well-ordered labour market.