Winning the Battle or Losing the War: The Impact of European Integration on Labour Market Institutions in Germany and Denmark
35 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2015
Date Written: December 2, 2015
The European Union (EU) literature sees increasing market liberalization as a challenge for models of national capitalism. EU liberalization, it is argued, erodes national employment regimes and social protection. However, other scholars highlight the ability of national institutions to reinvent themselves. This article assesses these claims by exploring an extreme case of labour market pressure driven by EU liberalization. Focusing on the meat production sector this article shows that low-wage labour migration has affected employment conditions in the meat production sector in Germany and Denmark in different ways: dualization has made Germany a destination country for low-wage work. In contrast, union solidarity in Denmark has kept wages high and Danish meat producers have outsourced work to Germany. The underlying industrial relations systems have shaped actors’ responses to the use of migrant labour.
Keywords: labour migration, dualization, union solidarity, European Integration, labour market institutions
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