Membership of trade unions is a key element in social cohesion. It contributes to the shared sense of protected rights. However, a 2015 Eurofund study showed that although migrant workers form an increasing proportion of the workforce in certain sectors, few trade unions encourage migrants to become members.
This report shows that in 2015 trade union membership rates of immigrant workers were comparable with those of host-country nationals in Austria, Belgium, Estonia and The Netherlands; larger gaps were reported in Denmark, Ireland, Spain and the UK. In addition, 12 countries have trade unions with well-established policies to reach out and support migrant workers. However, no such activities were identified in Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Slovakia.
When it comes to the public sector - for example law enforcement, education and healthcare - 19 Member States provide equal access for non-EU nationals. Eight of these take concrete actions to increase diversity in the public sector and to encourage the recruitment of non-EU nationals or citizens with migrant backgrounds. Encouraging recruitment from those with migrant backgrounds can help better reflect the ethnic and cultural diversity of society.
- In Austria, Vienna launched a police recruitment initiative called ‘Vienna needs you’, to have at least one officer of migrant descent in every station.
- The native-born offspring of immigrants make up over one-third of public sector roles in France, The Netherlands and Sweden.