Negotiating ‘solidarity’ and internationalism : the response of Polish trade unions to migration
In the context of massive outward migration after Poland's accession to the EU in 2004, this article explores the possibilities for cross-border collaboration by Polish trade unions. The findings are based on interviews with the two main trade union/trade union federations, Solidarity and Ogolnopolskie Porozumnie Związków Zawodowych: All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions, at national, regional and sectoral levels. Examining the issues and challenges faced by Polish trade unions in terms of loss of membership and social capital, the article also evaluates the significance of Poland's status as a country of some inward migration. It is argued that cross-border trade union collaboration has become an even more urgent project as the economic crisis intensifies competition in the labour market and increases the potential for xenophobia.