Trade Unions and Migrant Workers
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Trade Unions and Migrant Workers

New Contexts and Challenges in Europe

Edited by Stefania Marino, Judith Roosblad and Rinus Penninx

This timely book analyses the relationship between trade unions, immigration and migrant workers across eleven European countries in the period between the 1990s and 2015. It constitutes an extensive update of a previous comparative analysis – published by Rinus Penninx and Judith Roosblad in 2000 – that has become an important reference in the field. The book offers an overview of how trade unions manage issues of inclusion and solidarity in the current economic and political context, characterized by increasing challenges for labour organizations and rising hostility towards migrants.
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Chapter 4: Migrants in the public discourse: Between media, policy and public opinion

Alberta Giorgi and Tommaso Vitale


The chapter focuses on public and political discourse about ‘migrants’ in Europe, which frames the relationship between migrants and trade unions, and offers an overview of the main issues at stake. The authors develop an original analysis of European citizens’ attitudes towards migrants using ESS data. These data show that hostility towards immigrants is related primarily to individual attitudes, characteristics and behaviour, namely, to age, education, residential area and, especially, political affiliation as well as the level of commitment and engagement in associations and charities. Therefore politics, political cultures and political behaviour are key factors to understand racism and intolerance. The chapter focuses on the factors influencing migration policy-making, including the role of the mass media in shaping interpretations and policy instruments. The authors subsequently explore how migrations are framed in the public domain and policies. Finally, they examine how migrants are imagined as members of society, exploring the main narratives used to talk about their integration.

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