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Swedish Trade Unions and European Union Migrant Workers

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Erik Bengtsson
Publicerad i Journal of Industrial Relations
Volym 55
Nummer/häfte 2
Sidor 174-189
ISSN 0022-1856
Publiceringsår 2013
Publicerad vid Institutionen för ekonomi och samhälle, Ekonomisk historia
Sidor 174-189
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022185612473211
Ämnesord Migrant workers; Sweden; trade union revitalisation; trade unions
Ämneskategorier Ekonomisk historia, Sociologi (exklusive socialt arbete, socialpsykologi och socialantropologi), Statsvetenskap (exklusive studier av offentlig förvaltning och globaliseringsstudier)

Sammanfattning

The enlargement of the European Union in 2004 increased the flows of workers across national borders within the unions, making action against social dumping an increased priority for unions. Which factors influence unions’ choices of strategies against wage dumping? Research has shown that in a cross-national perspective, unions with stronger institutional positions, defined as their influence on public policy and extent of collective bargaining coverage, have tended to be less interested in organising migrant workers than unions with weaker institutional positions. This article examines the choices made by three Swedish unions, all three with strong institutional positions, in responding to migrant workers: two have developed extensive organising responses, while the third relies on cooperation with employers and collective bargaining coverage to counteract social dumping. The article shows that intra-national variation can be explained by sectoral-based issues: that is, variation at both a country and sectoral level influences unions’ strategic choices towards migrant workers. The article further highlights the transference of the Anglo-Saxon union revitalisation model in some sectors of the Swedish trade union movement, which faces increasing pressure as a result of labour precariousness in the Swedish labour market.

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