Transfer stimulates dialogue between the European trade union movement and the academic and research community. It contributes research findings on issues of strategic relevance for trade unions, in particular with regard to developments at the European level. Transfer publishes original peer-reviewed research on issues such as new developments in industrial relations, social policy, and labour market developments.
Volume 21 Issue 4, November 2015
This open issue of Transfer presents four articles that all deal with challenges and dilemmas that are at the core of the academic debate on trade unions as well as at the heart of the debate within the trade union movement. The first two articles speak to the debates on the relationships between unions and migrant workers and on mobilization strategies of unions towards these groups and of the migrant workers themselves. They discuss experiences in the Netherlands with the mobilization of Polish migrant workers and in France with collective action by irregular migrants (sans papiers). Both articles present cases that can be considered successful in that they indeed resulted in mobilization and collective action, including several strikes. At the same time, they demonstrate the difficulties in continuing such mobilization in the longer term. The two cases offer important lessons concerning the mobilization of migrant workers and, in a broader perspective, precarious workers as well as on the repertoire of actions available to trade unions in this respect.