This article analyzes the challenges of labor migration for both capital and labor within the European Union (EU). It asks how, in a country with traditionally strong unions and employers’ associations, it has been possible to create and maintain a segment in the labor market characterized by very low wages and abusive practices. The challenges of mobility within the EU are presented from an institutional perspective, focusing on its effects on migrant labor as well as on social partners in the receiving countries. The claim is that, in the context of increased labor mobility coming from countries with lower average wage levels, trade unions in particular have to mobilize new resources and go beyond their traditional focus on labor market insiders.

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