Active enactment and virtuous circles of employment relations: how Danish unions organised the transnationalised Copenhagen Metro construction project

Jens Arnholtz, Bjarke Refslund

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6 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Transnational workers on large-scale construction projects are often poorly included in national industrial relations systems, which results in employment relations becoming trapped in vicious circles of weak enforcement and precarious work. This article shows how Danish unions have, nonetheless, been successful in enacting existing institutions and organising the construction of the Copenhagen Metro City Ring, despite initially encountering a highly fragmented, transnational workforce and several subcontracting firms that actively sought to circumvent Danish labour-market regulation. This is explained by the union changing their organising and enforcement strategies, thereby utilising various power resources to create inclusive strategies towards transnational workers. This includes efforts to create shared objectives and identity across divergent groups of workers and actively seeking changes in the public owners’ attitude towards employment relations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalWork, Employment and Society
Volume33
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)682 –699
Number of pages18
ISSN0950-0170
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019

Keywords

  • European integration
  • construction work
  • enforcement
  • institutional enactment
  • organising
  • power resources
  • transnational labour
  • unions

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