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'Thinking Outside the Box'? Trade Union Organizing Strategies and Polish Migrant Workers in the United Kingdom

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  • Ian Fitzgerald
  • Jane Hardy

Abstract

This article focuses on the responses of British trade unions to the arrival of Polish workers since the 2004 enlargement of the European Union. It is argued that existing definitions and explanations of UK trade union engagement with migrant workers do not capture the strategies that have been used to engage with these migrant workers. We suggest that there have been two sets of responses. First, recruitment and organization activity has centred on inclusion and has been undertaken on new terrains using innovative strategies. Second, we point to the importance of new linkages locally, regionally, nationally and internationally in organizing these new labour market entrants. Copyright (c) Blackwell Publishing Ltd/London School of Economics 2009.

Suggested Citation

  • Ian Fitzgerald & Jane Hardy, 2010. "'Thinking Outside the Box'? Trade Union Organizing Strategies and Polish Migrant Workers in the United Kingdom," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 48(1), pages 131-150, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:48:y:2010:i:1:p:131-150
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    File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-8543.2009.00761.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Charles Heckscher & Françoise Carré, 2006. "Strength in Networks: Employment Rights Organizations and the Problem of Co-Ordination," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 44(4), pages 605-628, December.
    2. Andy Pike & Peter O'Brien & John Tomaney, 2004. "Trade Unions in Local and Regional Development and Governance: The Northern Trades Union Congress in North East England," Local Economy, London South Bank University, vol. 19(2), pages 102-116, May.
    3. 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.
    4. Janice Fine, 2007. "A Marriage Made in Heaven? Mismatches and Misunderstandings between Worker Centres and Unions," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(2), pages 335-360, June.
    5. Jamie Peck & Nik Theodore, 2007. "Flexible recession: the temporary staffing industry and mediated work in the United States," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(2), pages 171-192, March.
    6. Jane Wills, 2008. "Making Class Politics Possible: Organizing Contract Cleaners in London," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(2), pages 305-323, June.
    7. Paul Osterman, 2006. "Community Organizing and Employee Representation," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 44(4), pages 629-649, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andy Hodder, 2014. "Organising young workers in the Public and Commercial Services union," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 153-168, March.
    2. Nijkamp, P. & Poot, H.J., 2012. "Migration impact assessment: A state of the art," Serie Research Memoranda 0009, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    3. Philip James & Joanna Karmowska, 2016. "British union renewal: does salvation really lie beyond the workplace?," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 102-116, March.
    4. Melanie Simms, 2013. "Special Issue. Edited by: Gregor Murray, Christian Lévesque, Christian Dufour and Adelheid Hege," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(4), pages 373-388, July.

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