Subcontracting, Posted Migrants and Labour Market Segmentation in Finland

20 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2012

See all articles by Nathan Lillie

Nathan Lillie

University of Helsinki; University of Jyväskylä

Date Written: March 2012


Using evidence from the shipbuilding and construction industries in Finland, this article shows how trade union responses to the introduction of migrant workers can be conditioned by product markets. Growing numbers of ‘posted workers’, or intra‐European Union work migrants employed via transnational subcontractors, are segmenting the labour market, by competing with domestically domiciled workers whose employment is more tightly regulated. In Finland, the construction worker's union has had a far more assertive and successful approach to enforcing wage norms than the union in shipbuilding. This appears to be related to the greater exposure of shipbuilding to international product market competition.

Suggested Citation

Lillie, Nathan, Subcontracting, Posted Migrants and Labour Market Segmentation in Finland (March 2012). British Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 50, Issue 1, pp. 148-167, 2012, Available at SSRN: or

Nathan Lillie (Contact Author)

University of Helsinki

University of Helsinki
Helsinki, FIN-00014

University of Jyväskylä ( email )

Seminaarinkatu 30
Jyväskylä, 40100

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