Inclusion or Exclusion? Trade Union Strategies and Labor Migration

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This research identifies and analyzes immigration-related strategies of the Finnish Construction Trade Union (FCTU) and the Service Union United (SUU); e.g. how the unions react to labor immigration, whether unions seek to include migrants in the unions, and what is migrants' position in the unions. The study also analyzes the experiences that migrants who work in these sectors have with trade unions. The Estonian labor market situation–including the role of Estonian trade unions–is also examined as it has a considerable impact on the operating environment of the FCTU.

The results of the study indicate that immigration is a contradictory issue for both unions. On the one hand, they strive to include migrants as trade union members and to defend migrants' labor rights. On the other hand, they, together with their umbrella organization the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK), seek to prevent labor immigration from outside the EU and EEA countries. They actively defend current labor immigration restrictions by drawing attention to high unemployment figures and to the breaches of working conditions migrants encounter.

The research material consists of 78 qualitative interviews, observation in trade union events, and trade unions' and employer organizations' public statements.

ISBN 978-952-5889-90-1 (printed)
ISBN 978-952-5889-91-8 (PDF)
ISSN 0356-780X
Migration Studies – C27

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