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Their own stories - how Polish construction workers posted to Sweden experience their job situation, or resistance versus life projects
University of Skövde, School of Business. University of Skövde, Enterprises for the Future. (Medarbetarskap och organisatorisk resiliens (FORE))
University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
2015 (English)In: Transfer - European Review of Labour and Research, ISSN 1024-2589, E-ISSN 1996-7284, Vol. 21, no 1, 23-36 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study draws primarily on in-depth interviews with nine male Polish construction workers posted to Sweden in the early 2010s. The emphasis lies on their own experiences of being exposed to what they saw as unjust working conditions, and why they accept them or react against them. The overarching research questions are why Polish workers go to Sweden, and, more importantly, why they stay even when they feel unfairly treated or directly cheated by their employers. The main points of interest are wages, work environment, employment contracts and relations with different labour market players, including the EU. It was very clear that none of the Polish workers had ever heard of the EU Posted Workers Directive. Still, the lack of serious resistance, our study argues, was not because of poor knowledge about their legal rights, but was linked to a wish to fulfil a ‘life project’ back home in Poland, such as building a house, starting a company, being able to afford to start a family and raise children, or saving for retirement. This wish helped the workers to swallow ‘unfair’ treatment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2015. Vol. 21, no 1, 23-36 p.
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Humanities and Social sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-10477DOI: 10.1177/1024258914561409ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84921328076OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-10477DiVA: diva2:774210
Available from: 2014-12-22 Created: 2014-12-22 Last updated: 2016-05-23Bibliographically approved

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Thörnqvist, Christer
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