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A political economy of the dynamics of migrant labour in an enlarged Europe: the case of Polish migration to the UK. To be presented at ESRC seminar series At the University of East Anglia, 17 June 2010. Jane Hardy (University of Hertfordshire).
To be presented at ESRC seminar series
At the University of East Anglia, 17 June 2010
Jane Hardy (University of Hertfordshire)
The impact of migrant workers on the functioning
of labour markets and industrial relations
GDP per capita and unemployment for selected countries, 2004 and 2008/2010
Reserve army of labour
Expendable during downturns
Provision of labour under ‘special conditions’
Can obtain labour at lower costs and/or increased flexibility
Divide and rule
Increase intensity of exploitation
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‘Picking it, sorting it, moving it, selling it’
‘ there are obviously enormous benefits of immigration…There is a big positive impact on the economy which is worth £6 billion. (Immigration Minister)
‘The empirical literature from around the world suggests little or no evidence that immigrants have had a major impact on native labour markets outcomes such as wages and unemployment’ (Danny Blanchflower speech to Bank of England)
Individual and collective agency in the context of supermobility
It is their [migrant workers] humanity that causes authorities (and employers) problems. They don’t only migrate to work. The categories – refugee, economic migrant, tourist, family member, business visitor, student, stubbornly merge one into another, and people impose their own wishes on the system. All of them, apart from the very rich, need some means of material support, but this is not necessarily the only reason why they move, or stay. When I asked a (small) sample of people who had settled, none of them planned to, but most of them did because they fell in love. (Nick Clark)
‘the existence of separate racial and ethnic continuities could lead to either unity or fragmentation, depending on the role played by important community leaders or institutions.’
According to a public policy advisor ‘The idea that migrant workers comprise a marginal segment of the UK workforce that is dispensed of when times are tough is clearly wide of the mark’ (Churchard, 2009).
Migrants choosing to stay in adopted countries rather than return home despite high unemployment and lack of jobs.