Towards a Decent Labour Market for Low-Waged Migrant Workers (2018).
Towards a Decent Labour Market for Low-Waged Migrant Workers asks the important question of whether the law and policy of the European Union and member states promote decent working standards for migrant workers both from EU member states and from outside the EU.
Excellent chapters by Mijke Houwerzijl and Annette Schrauwen, Jan Cremers and Ronald Dekker, Margarite Helena Zoeteweij, and Lisa Berntsen and Tesseltje de Lange assess whether EU laws such as the Posting Directive, Freedom of Movement, the Seasonal Workers Directive, and the Employer Sanctions Directive contribute to decent working conditions for migrant workers. A common theme in these chapters is the way the EU's common market roots frequently outweigh its social policy roots to the detriment of migrant workers.
In addition to analysis of EU and national law, the book contains fascinating original research on local and national initiatives and policy measures affecting migrant workers in (and near) the EU. Petra Herzfeld Olsson and Lucia della Torre explore local cases involving Thai berry pickers in Sweden and undocumented migrant workers in the canton of Geneva in non-EU Switzerland, showing how local initiatives can improve the working conditions of migrant workers. At the same time, Tesseltje de Lange explores the impact of limitations in Dutch law which prohibit asylum seekers from working for the first six months after they file their asylum application. In her discussion of the findings of research on the impact of the 6-month limitation, de Lange comments, "[H]anging around in an asylum seekers' residence centre can be detrimental to one's health."
Other chapters provide readers with the tools for understanding the migrant labor market, especially Conny Rijken's chapter on the continuum of exploitative labor conditions, differentiating between decent work, exploitative labor conditions, human trafficking, and forced labor.
As this book shows, the EU and Europeans have by no means developed a model for ensuring decent work for low-waged migrant workers. For those of us on the American side of the Atlantic, the book shows that Europeans have at least started asking the right questions.
A hardback copy of the book can be purchased from the University of Amsterdam Press for 95 Euros. For those of us on a budget, a PDF ebook can be downloaded for free.