Refugees@Work: Re-Composition of the Workforce and Re-Regulation of Border Regimes in Germany

Friday, 20 July 2018: 18:30
Oral Presentation
Peter BIRKE, Soziologisches Forschungsinstitut Goettingen an der Georg August Universitaet, Germany
Refugees@Work: Re-Composition of the Workforce and Re-regulation of border regimes in Germany

The demands of capital to mobilize skilled labour plays a major role in current debates and reforms. This affects the definition of political and social rights of refugees, notably in Germany. While the majority of refugees is prevented from entering the EU by way of a militarization of the border regime, access of refugees into the German labor market is facilitated by the latest reforms of immigration law. After all, some degree of brain drain is regarded as acceptable, given that it serves to reduce the shortage of labour and skills in some parts of the German economy. This tendency has been analyzed in depth, as far as its consequences for the legal status of migrants are concerned. Its potential influence on the stratification of workforces is, however, rarely discussed in current sociological research. If a commodification of migration regimes occurs: how does this influence the composition of workforces in industries that see an influx of new migrants? In this presentation, we will discuss preliminary results of our research in the meat industry, metal works, the steel and the chemical industry in Lower Saxony, Germany. This will include the question of how trade unions react to the re-composition of the workforce and of whether the promotion of citizenship rights and equal conditions for all are promoted (or neglected) at the point of production.

Project Website: http://www.sofi-goettingen.de/projekte/refugeeswork-perspektiven-der-betrieblichen-integration-von-fluechtlingen-in-niedersachsen/projektinhalt/