Trade unions’ responses to immigration and migrant workers: the Portuguese case

E2 Insights

This article explores how Portuguese trade unions respond to immigration and migrant workers, offering insights into varied sectoral approaches. By analyzing responses within different labour market sectors, the study emphasizes the importance of considering both national context and sector-specific dynamics.

This article analyses Portuguese trade unions’ responses to immigration and migrant workers. It contributes to broadening the understanding of union responses to migration by comparing the responses of unions representing a variety of labour market sectors. The results indicate that in order to understand union responses, we need to pay attention not only to the particular national context but also to how the differing logics of specific labour market sectors enable and constrain the unions’ responses, including unions’ possibilities and willingness to defend migrant workers. The Portuguese unions make an excellent case for studying this question as the country has lately experienced increased –and diversified– flows of immigration, which sets new challenges for the unions. The research material consists of interviews with union representatives, unions’ public statements, and notes from union seminars and events.

See attachment below.


Rolle Alho

Rolle Alho

Senior Researcher, Doctor of Political Sciences

Immigration, immigration policy, integration, refugee issues, labour market and working life, labour market organisations, international recruitment

+358 50 5344 485 rolle.alho@e2.fi
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