Unionisation of Non-Local Workers: Capacity Building Opportunity for Trade Unions?
Trade unions in the automotive sector in Hungary face a mounting challenge of dealing with fragmentation of employment at the workplace, representation of various social groups, including those more vulnerable to exploitation – non-local workers. Employment of non-local workers and members of more vulnerable groups indirectly increases the pressure against labour standards and wage levels. In order to remain relevant actors, trade unions need to define their position vis-à-vis more marginalised groups of workers. Moreover, if they wish to become stronger organisationally, they need to adapt to changing economic and sociopolitical environment of production volatility, technological change, and transnationalized labour markets. We argue that trade-union response in the domains of values and organisational principles and capacities is a minimum requirement for their organisational reform. In the policy paper is to provide recommendations, tips for trade union capacity building, but we also hope to stimulate a discussion that will help unions formulate their very strategies and practices, enabling them to take an open, proactive, assertive stance in relation to non-local workers.