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Internationalization and the Spaces of Temporary Labour: The Global Assembly of a Local Workforce

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  • Linda McDowell
  • Adina Batnitzky
  • Sarah Dyer

Abstract

An increasing number of low-status consumer service jobs in the UK are undertaken by economic migrants, who are often recruited through the aegis of employment agencies. This article explores the use of migrant agency workers by a London hotel and a hospital, looking at the ways in which such a labour force is recruited and assembled in parts of the service sector in Greater London. It argues that even in the most locally-based of service-sector jobs, typically involving face to face interactions, new sets of transnational connections are producing a globalized labour force. Copyright (c) Blackwell Publishing Ltd/London School of Economics 2008.

Suggested Citation

  • Linda McDowell & Adina Batnitzky & Sarah Dyer, 2008. "Internationalization and the Spaces of Temporary Labour: The Global Assembly of a Local Workforce," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 46(4), pages 750-770, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:46:y:2008:i:4:p:750-770
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Susan N. Houseman, 2001. "Why Employers Use Flexible Staffing Arrangements: Evidence from an Establishment Survey," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(1), pages 149-170, October.
    2. Kevin Ward, 2003. "UK Temporary Staffing: Industry Structure and Evolutionary Dynamics," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 35(5), pages 889-907, May.
    3. Alison L Booth & Juan J. Dolado & Jeff Frank, 2002. "Symposium On Temporary Work Introduction," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages 181-188, June.
    4. Chris Forde & Gary Slater, 2005. "Agency Working in Britain: Character, Consequences and Regulation," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 43(2), pages 249-271, June.
    5. Kevin Ward, 2004. "Going global? Internationalization and diversification in the temporary staffing industry," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(3), pages 251-273, June.
    6. Alison L. Booth & Marco Francesconi & Jeff Frank, 2002. "Temporary Jobs: Stepping Stones Or Dead Ends?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages 189-213, June.
    7. John Purcell & Kate Purcell & Stephanie Tailby, 2004. "Temporary Work Agencies: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(4), pages 705-725, December.
    8. Jamie Peck & Nikolas Theodore, 1998. "The Business of Contingent Work: Growth and Restructuring in Chicago's Temporary Employment Industry," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 12(4), pages 655-674, December.
    9. Jamie Peck, 2001. "Contingent Chicago: Restructuring the Spaces of Temporary Labor," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(3), pages 471-496, September.
    10. Stephen Bach, 2007. "Going Global? The Regulation of Nurse Migration in the UK," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(2), pages 383-403, June.
    11. Casey, Bernard, 1988. "The Extent and Nature of Temporary Employment in Britain," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(4), pages 487-509, December.
    12. Kevin Ward, 2003. "UK temporary staffing: industry structure and evolutionary dynamics," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 35(5), pages 889-907, May.
    13. Tomas Korpi & Henrik Levin, 2001. "Precarious Footing: Temporary Employment as a Stepping Stone out of Unemployment in Sweden," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 15(1), pages 127-148, March.
    14. Glover, Stephen & Gott, Ceri & Loizillon, Anaïs & Portes, Jonathan & Price, Richard & Spencer, Sarah & Srinivasan, Vasanthi & Willis, Carole, 2001. "Migration: an economic and social analysis," MPRA Paper 75900, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Kavita Datta & Cathy McIlwaine & Yara Evans & Joanna Herbert & Jon May & Jane Wills, 2007. "From Coping Strategies to Tactics: London's Low-Pay Economy and Migrant Labour," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(2), pages 404-432, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Benjamin Hopkins & Chris Dawson, 2016. "Migrant workers and involuntary non-permanent jobs: agencies as new IR actors?," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 163-180, March.
    2. repec:eee:touman:v:32:y:2011:i:5:p:1006-1019 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Damian Raess & Brian Burgoon, 2015. "Flexible Work and Immigration in Europe," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 53(1), pages 94-111, March.
    4. Linda McDowell, 2015. "Roepke Lecture in Economic Geography—The Lives of Others: Body Work, the Production of Difference, and Labor Geographies," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 91(1), pages 1-23, January.
    5. repec:eee:anture:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:13-23 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:eee:touman:v:33:y:2012:i:3:p:662-671 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Linda McDowell & Esther Rootham & Abby Hardgrove, 2016. "The Production of Difference and Maintenance of Inequality: The Place of Young Goan Men in a Post-Crisis UK Labour Market," Gender, Work and Organization, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(2), pages 108-124, March.
    8. Chris Forde & Robert MacKenzie, 2010. "The Ethical Agendas of Employment Agencies Towards Migrant Workers in the UK: Deciphering the Codes," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 97(1), pages 31-41, December.
    9. Gordon L. Clark & Roberto Durán-Fernández & Kendra Strauss, 2010. "'Being in the market': the UK house-price bubble and the intended structure of individual pension investment portfolios," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(3), pages 331-359, May.
    10. Linda Mcdowell & Adina Batnitzky & Sarah Dyer, 2009. "Precarious Work and Economic Migration: Emerging Immigrant Divisions of Labour in Greater London's Service Sector," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(1), pages 3-25, March.

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