Competition and solidarity : Union members and immigration in Europe
Title: Competition and solidarity : Union members and immigration in Europe
Author: DONNELLY, Michael J.
Series/Number: EUI MWP; 2014/08
In this paper, I address an under-studied question in the comparative political economy of migration. How have trade unions shaped the attitudes of their members toward immigration? Unions are at the core of left wing politics in most European countries, and support for immigration is usually a left-wing position. However, many of the core constituents of unions are those whose interests are most adversely affected by an increase in the supply of labor. I show that the pattern of of European trade union leaders becoming supportive of open immigration policies (identified in previous literature) has solidified over the past decade. After discussing how unions have overcome the key economic dilemma in their rhetoric, I provide evidence that this rhetoric has shaped the attitudes of union members, that the effect has become stronger over time, and that the effect is (mostly) robust to the exclusion of countries where self-selection into unions on the basis of ideology is likely to be strongest.
Subject: Immigration; Public opinion; Unions; Europe; Opinion leader
Type of Access: openAccess; openAccess