051 Mobilizing Against Inequality: Immigrant Workers, Unions, and Crisis of Capitalism

Comparative Research on Trade Unions and Migrant Workers
Tuesday, June 25, 2013: 2:00 PM-3:45 PM
4.04 (PC Hoofthuis)
This panel involves the launch of the book “Mobilizing against Inequality: Immigrant Workers, Unions, and Crisis of Capitalism” (edited by Lee Adler, Maite Tapia and Lowell Turner, with co-authors Gabriella Alberti, Daniel Cornfield, Michael Fichter, Janice Fine and Jane Holgate- ILR School, Cornell University Press). The book summarizes the findings on trade union strategies to integrate immigrant workers in the US, UK, Germany, and France. This international comparative research project, conducted between 2008 and 2012, was funded by the Hans Böckler Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, and the Public Welfare Foundation, The panelists, who are among the authors and editors of the book, will cover key sections of the book, namely: the presentation of key empirical findings from the case studies on the functioning of trade union policies towards migrants in each country; a wider analysis of differences/similarities across countries and industrial sectors and discussion of the implications at the strategic level for trade union’ organizing models and integration profile in the wider context of trade union renewal. The panel will also discuss broader policy dimensions and implications for the state, labor, and alternative forms of representation, making some recommendations on how to foster workplace and civic integration of migrant workers together with the promotion of wider organizational transformation of trade unions across the Atlantic. One critical claim of the book is to take into consideration innovative organizing tactics drawing from social movement and community unionism for unions facing dramatic changes in the labour market including the precarizations of working conditions for increasing sections of the workforce. The panel will finally reflect on the methodological challenges and contribution made by the book in terms of advancing comparative research on migrant labour and trade union organizing models across the national, the local and the transnational scale.
Melanie Simms
Success and failure in the UK: the importance of local communities
Jane Holgate, Leeds University Business School