Posted work and deterritorialization in the European Union
|Ms I.A. Wagner
|February 05, 2015
|prof. dr. S. (Sjoerd) Beugelsdijk
|dr. N.A. Lillie
|Academy building RUG
|Economics and Business
European Union mobility and citizenship rights have positively affected the lives of millions across the EU. In Posted Work and Deterritorialization in the European Union, Ines Wagner contends that the dynamics of intra-EU labour mobility is also creating a hypermobile underclass of workers employed in low-wage precarious employment. This outcome mainly takes places because employment structures transnationalise, yet state policy tools and constituencies remain territorially defined. Wagner’s conclusions are based on qualitative data in the context of posted work in the German political economy. ‘Posted workers’ are a type of labour migrant sent by their employer to work temporarily in another EU member state. In an increasing number of industries, including construction, meat processing, distribution and ship building, posted workers work and live under precarious conditions. Based on interviews with posted workers from mainly Eastern European countries, union representatives, managers and policy-makers, she found that EU citizen rights and labour mobility regulations are largely being circumvented. Mobile EU citizens are placed in an institutional void because of weak or no union representation or collective voice structures. Wagner’s in-depth analysis points to the ineffective labour market regulation in a pan-European labour market relevant for practitioners and policy-makers alike. Findings show the importance of matching economic and social labour market integration to protect the rights of EU labour migrants.