Conference Agenda

RN17_09a: Migration and the Implications for the World of Work, Employment and Industrial Relations
Friday, 23/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Joanna Karmowska, Oxford Brookes University
Location: UP.1.218
University of Manchester Building: University Place, First Floor Oxford Road


Negotiating Moral Boundaries in Workplaces through the Lens of Work Experiences

Selin Sivis

University of Essex, United Kingdom

This study applies ‘the boundary-making approach’ in the case of Syrian refugees in Turkey, the world’s biggest refugee receiving country. ‘The boundary-making approach’ is often utilized to study how boundaries are drawn, shifted, and blurred by social actors across different contexts and types of groups. Yet, multiple dimensions of the boundary-making process particularly with respect to the perceptions of dominant groups are still under-explored in the literature. Based on preliminary micro-level study in Adana, a secure economic hub in the proximity of the conflict region, this paper explores how distinct framing strategies are employed towards Syrian workers in the workplaces, and how moral boundaries are negotiated and contested at different stages of employment by employers in manual labour economic sectors in the informal market economy. Drawing upon ethnographic observations and 30 semi-structured in-depth interviews with Turkish employers in Adana, this study finds out that attachment to morality in the workplaces is distinctively (re)constructed by employers at different stages of employment: hiring process and employment itself. Results suggest that mobilization of shared categories and classification systems such as ‘work values’, ‘work ethic’, and ‘showing mercy’ affect the nature of moral boundaries in the workplaces and the current local labour market dynamics and work experiences contribute to (re)making of the boundary drawing process. Also, this research sheds light on the role of socio-economic benefits and moral duty in making moral boundaries more permeable between employers and Syrians during hiring process whereas it becomes less permeable after employment since previous work experiences push employers to reconsider their approach towards them as ‘potential employees’.

Keywords: moral boundaries, the boundary-making approach, employment, informal market, Turkey and Syrians refugees.

Perceived And Real Insecurity. Attitudes To Migrant Workers In Denmark, 2007-2018

Troels Fage Hedegaard, Christian Albrekt Larsen

Aalborg University, Denmark

In the wake of the enlargements of the European Union in 2004 and 2007, Denmark, along with other European countries, has experienced a large influx of work related migration especially from Eastern Europe. This has had had overall positive influence on the economies of the recipient countries. However, this has also made some workers feel more uneasy about their position in the workforce, as the increased number of workers has resulted in fewer job openings and more wage competition for the existing jobs. In this article, we demonstrate that more Danes have begun to worry more about the influx of immigrants into the workforce and demand more protections for native workers in the period between 2007 and 2018. The focus of the article is on explaining this change in attitudes. Therefore, we study whether the changes in attitudes to migrants in the workforce are linked to a values general backlash, as described by Inglehart and Norris (2016), or whether it can more accurately be explained by the increasingly unsecure material position among parts of the workforce. In the article, we draw on the version of the Worlds Value Study from 2008 and 2017 combined with high quality Danish Register Data. Since the survey respondents answered have been linked to the population registers we can study the impact of factors like income, unemployment, trade, trade union membership, and taxes in great detail. This combination allows us to dig into the material background of these attitudes, and to distinguish it from a general values backlash.

Liquid Migration And Precarization Of Work. Professional Experiences Of Young Migrants From Selected Medium-sized Cities In Poland

Dominika Maria Winogrodzka

SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Poland

The article explores the relationship between international migration and the precarization of work among young migrants from selected medium-sized cities in Poland. The author analyzes whether international migration allows for change or, on the contrary, preserves precarious work conditions. This is examined in the context of young people who try to avoid precarization by migrating from their local communities.

The theoretical framework of this work concerns "liquid migration", which is based on the temporariness, flexibility, and unpredictability of life trajectories. In the professional context, "liquid migrants" have to adapt to a flexible, deregulated and increasingly transnational labor market. Such labor markets are associated with specific challenges, one of them is the precarization of work and the fact that contemporary work signifies a number of risks. Based on the empirical material from the "Education-to-domestic and- foreign labor market transitions of youth: The role of local community, peer group and new media" project, the author are looking for the answer to the questions about the role of migration experience in the process of experiencing work precarization, both in objective and subjective terms.

Key words: youth, labor market, liquid migration, precarization of work

Including Migrant And Precarious Workers In The Care Sector: Comparing Union Strategies And Labour Market Outcomes In The UK And The Netherlands

Stefania Marino, Arjan Keizer

University of Manchester, United Kingdom

This paper provides a comparison of inclusive strategies towards migrant and precarious workers by unions in the UK and the Netherlands. It combines insights from the literatures on labour market segmentation and trade union (revitalization) strategies, building on previous contributions in this respect (Benassi and Dorigatti, 2015, Pulignano et al., 2015). The literature on segmentation argues that migrant labour allows employers to offer low pay and working conditions in labour intensive segments, thus contributing to labour market segmentation (Anderson and Ruhs, 2010). It also considers segmentation as result of a bargaining process between capital and labour and thus dependent on their respective power (Grimshaw and Rubery, 1998). A second strand in the literature highlights the importance of an increasingly inclusive attitude towards precarious and migrant workers, while also stressing the relevance of union related variables in shaping union strategies (Marino, 2012). This paper draws on these arguments to compare union strategies and regulatory outcomes in the care sector in two countries characterized by different institutional contexts and unions’ features. It relies on qualitative data consisting of semi-structured interviews and union documents related to the TUC (UK) and the FNV (the Netherlands). The paper explores the extent to which flexibilization and precarity in labour intensive sectors constitute an explanation for inclusive union strategies to promote regulation for all. Furthermore, the paper analyses the impact of union power, in particular related to institutional embeddedness, on the extent to which these inclusive strategies result in regulatory outcomes.

References are available on request