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Julia Kubisa

After 2004, intra-European migration of Polish workers became a central issue of debate and action for the social partners and the government. Immigration to Poland began to increase – albeit not on the same scale of the outward migration – and started covering some of the demand for low-skilled and insecure jobs. However, inward migration remained peripheral to political discourse and trade unions’ activities until recently. Polish unions are learning how to organize migrant workers by observing Western labour organizations, and some are now trying to organize Ukrainian workers. However, this is only a first development towards an inclusive, ‘prospective’ approach. Some unions still hold on to a protectionist approach, viewing migrants as a threat to Polish workers. The emerging political discourse mixes migrants with refugees, and may affect future union action by deepening new divisions and making the protectionist approach more xenophobic.