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September 22, 2016 / Sian Moore

Seminar on migrant labour in a transnational context

This seminar considers the issue of migrant labour and will take place on Wednesday, 5th October 2012, from 3-6 pm at the University of Greenwich (Hamilton House-room102). In the context of the Brexit decision it is especially important to put labour migration into a transnational context, taking into account global neo-liberalization processes and the effects of other types of movements (capital, goods and services) on the movement of labour and growing inequality. We have three expert speakers:

Professor Alan Manning (London School of Economics) is a member of the Migration Advisory Committee and will speak about the role of the committee, its research and its future post-Brexit. Alan Manning is Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics. He studied at Clare College Cambridge and received his DPhil at Nuffield College Oxford before becoming a lecturer at Birkbeck College London. He has worked at the LSE since  1989 and was Head of  the Economics Department from 2009-2012. He has published widely on labour economics and is currently researching the impact of minimum wages on wage inequality in the UK  and the USA, the impact of immigration on wages, the cyclicality in wages and reservation wage and  the migration response to local shocks.

Dr Barbara Samaluk (University of Greernwich) will speak about her research on labour migration from post-socialist central and eastern Europe (CEE) to the UK. Her talk will focus on the strategies of migrant workers from Poland and Slovenia within the process of transnational exchange characterized by emerging transnational staffing agencies that use various tactics to extract profits from those wishing to migrate and new arrivals, who are not yet familiar with UK’s institutions, standards and practices. It will expose unequal economic and symbolic geographies caused by the global expansion of neoliberalism, which push workers to emigrate, inform their initial choices and affect the skill level and pay at which migrant workers find themselves when they arrive to an unfamiliar labour market.

Barbara Samaluk is a postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Work and Employment Research Unit at the University of Greenwich Business School. Her research interests include transnational employment relations, migration and intersectionality, marketization effects and growing precarity within rescaled and shrinking post-socialist welfare states and emerging forms of worker-(non) citizens representation and activism. She is currently involved in an ERC project on the effects of marketization on societies and in a European Trade Union Institute project on trade union innovation within post-socialist CEE countries.  She has just been awarded a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship for a new research project that aims to investigate work transitions and transnational mobility of young and precarious teachers and social care workers from Slovenian post-crisis and austerity driven context.

Professor Sonia McKay (Universities of the West of England and Greenwich) will base her contribution around research conducted as part of a two-year ESRC funded project, UndocNet. The project investigated the working lives of migrants without documents living in London together with the experiences and rationales of minority ethnic employers employing those without documents. She will focus on the contradictions between state policies that, while marginalising and criminalising migrants without documents, at the same time endorse exploitative labour practices through an absence of regulation and weak employment rights. She will draw on a recently published book, ‘Living on the margins – undocumented migrants in a global city’, written with Professor Alice Bloch, the co-investigator on the ESRC project.

Sonia McKay is a visiting Professor of European Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Greenwich as well as the University of the West of England. She was previously at the Working Lives Research Institute, London Metropolitan University where she headed a number of research projects, mainly focusing on discrimination, migration and collective organisation at both national and EU level. Prior to this she worked as the researcher in employment law at the Labour Research Department, a post she held for 20 years. She holds a law degree from Queens University, Belfast and a PhD in employment law from Wolfson College, Cambridge.

This is an open seminar but please inform Professor Geoff White ( if you are planning to attend from outside the University of Greenwich.




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