Cross-border labour markets and the role of trade unions in representing migrant workers’ interests.

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New patterns of labour migration are reshaping labour markets and raising new challenges for labour market actors, especially trade unions. This article critically discusses unionization strategies targeting migrant workers and the political and organizational dilemmas involved, taking as an example the case of Luxembourg, a founding member of the European Union with a highly internationalized labour market. Relying on qualitative research and survey results, this article sets out the strategies adopted by trade unions to unionize migrant workers, before discussing the dilemmas and tensions related to the diversification of trade union policies and organizational structures in response to labour migration. It provides valuable insights into two broader issues: the socio-political and organizational dynamics involved in trade unions’ inclusion of migrant workers and the potential role of trade unions in building transnational links and cohesion in border regions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-255
Number of pages21
JournalThe Journal of Industrial Relations
Issue number2
Early online date13 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Cross-border work
  • immigration
  • union renewal
  • trade unions
  • labour migration

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