Wednesday, 1 May 2013

The internationalisation of construction capital and labour force formation: Union responses in the transnational enterprise

an article by Stuart Rosewarne (The University of Sydney, Australia) published in The Journal of Industrial Relations Volume 55 Number 2 (April 2013)


Throughout much of the advanced industrial world the building and construction industry has been extremely reliant upon migrant workers to meet industry labour force needs.

However, changes to work organisation in this sector, such as extended subcontracting chains and the increased significance of ‘phoenix’ operators, have reinforced greater recourse to migrant workers, especially temporary and undocumented workers.

Considered in the broader context of the widespread embrace of labour market flexibility and state engagement with neoliberal-oriented labour market policies that include less-restrictive labour migration programs, organised labour has been confronted by new and quite different industrial challenges in responding to migrant workers.

This article evaluates the significance of this shifting terrain in the construction sector for unions at the national, international and transnational level in engaging and organising migrant labour.

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