Barriers to migrant worker unionization: examining the impact of structural and subjective barriers to migrant worker unionization in the UK

Theodoropoulos, P. (2018) Barriers to migrant worker unionization: examining the impact of structural and subjective barriers to migrant worker unionization in the UK. Journal of Labor and Society, 21(3), pp. 317-335. (doi:10.1111/wusa.12346)

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Abstract

Despite being disproportionately concentrated in the most precarious jobs of the UK labor market, migrant workers are disproportionately absent from unions. This study aims to examine the structural and subjective impediments to migrant worker unionization. Not only to address subjectivities but also to counter the exclusion of migrant voices from the relevant literature, a qualitative approach employing interviews and an auto‐ethnography was chosen. It is argued that, alongside a variety of subjective and structural factors, the almost total absence of trade unions from many migrants' lives is a significant contributor to their lack of participation. The study concludes with some recommendations toward improving union outreach to migrant communities, arguing that a substantial part of trade unions' “traditional,” hierarchical, class‐centered remit must be overturned and replaced by intersectional and nonhierarchical organizing methods in order for them to be able to organize, work with, and empower migrant workers.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Theodoropoulos, Panagiotis
Authors: Theodoropoulos, P.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Labor and Society
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:2471-4607
ISSN (Online):2471-4607
Published Online:27 August 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Immanuel Ness and Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
First Published:First published in Journal of Labor and Society 21(3): 317-335
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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