ESRC Seminar Series: Migrants, Workplace and Community: Learning from Inno...
Migrant Worker Initiatives and Established Labour Organisations
Organisers: Stefania Marino and Miguel Martínez Lucio
The question of trade unions and their responses to migration has become a central feature of the study of labour and employment relations and the sociology of work more generally. Recent research has engaged with the different ways trade unions have responded to the challenges facing migrant workers in a more precarious working environment and the way in which the broader body of regulation and rights can be sustained and enhanced. Trade unions respond in a variety of ways and attitudes and policies have varied greatly over time and according to the specific context. In recent years, there has been an emerging consensus regarding the need for a greater sensibility to issues of race and social exclusion.
In the current context, there is a growing awareness that the climate of growing xenophobia and the limited reach of trade unions have brought a new set of challenges to migrant communities and trade unions. In some cases, these challenges have generated new forms of worker organisation, e.g. new forms of independent models of representation and action within and beyond the main remit of traditional associations. Furthermore, the question of ‘Brexit’ and the emergence of a more ambivalent approach to migration issues in some trade union communications suggest a new set of challenges to the hopes of social inclusion and equality.
The Seminars will have speakers discussing developments in Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and the UK. It will also have speakers discussing the new forms of worker organisations that are emerging and the problems presented by the current political and social climate. Details of the sessions will be announced soon. The main speakers and discussants will be Gabriella Alberti, Heather Connolly, Zita Holbourne, Stefania Marino, Miguel Martinez Lucio, Stephen Mustchin, Davide Pero, Judith Roosblad, and Michael Whittall.