Post-accession migration in construction and trade union responses in Denmark, Norway and the UK – University of Copenhagen

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08 March 2012

Post-accession migration in construction and trade union responses in Denmark, Norway and the UK

Article by Line Eldring, Fafo, Ian Fitzgerald, Northumbria University & Jens Arnholtz, FAOS

The article outlines the challenges faced by trade unions in Denmark, Norway and the UK do to the arrival of construction workers from the new EU member states. It compares the different responses from construction unions in the three countries in relation to governments, employers and the labour migrants themselves. Organizing has been seen as a crucial mean to avoid low-wage competition and social dumping in all three countries. The article analyse the strategies that unions have developed for recruiting migrants. The analysis shows that a number of novelties and innovations in organising strategies can be identified in all three countries, and that there are similarities between the strategies adopted. Still, the results in terms of membership gain amongst migrant workers seem to be very dissimilar, which is explained by specific institutional differences.

Article in European Journal of Industrial Relations, vol. 18, no. 1, March 2012.