REGIONAL CASE STUDY From Morocco and Tunisia to Belgium via Italy: migration and posting of third country nationals. Work package 3
Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Venice
•During the last decade Belgium has become one of the main receiving countries for posted workers, including TCNs from non-EU Eastern European countries, North Africa, Latin America and Asia, who are sent by companies located in theEU15 and EU12 Member States.
•In Belgium restrictive migration policies limit labour immigration only to highly skilled professions. Low-skilled workers enter the Belgian labour market through temporary and precarious migration regimes, like the posting of workers.
•The construction industry is the main sector that resorts to the posting ofworkers because of labour shortages. Moreover, Belgian companies have adopted a business model which tends to increase flexibility and decrease labour costs.
•The employment of TCN posted workers in the Belgian construction sectorhas opened a new phase of the downward competition among workers, involving both domestic workforce and EU workers who have been employed as posted workers for many years.
•Belgian companies face many problems deriving from the fragmentation of both the organisation of work and the workforce, particularly with regard to the management of transnational workplaces.
•Over the last few years, Italy has increasingly sent posted workers to Central and Northern Europe, particularly to countries where the construction sector is having a good performance thanks to public or private investment. This posting stream involves Italian, EU and TCN workers.
•Italian construction companies that send TCN posted workers to Central and Northern Europe have been frequently investigated for violations of labour legislation and posting regulation, including some cases of crimes related to the trafficking of human beings.
•Italian sending companies offer lower costs and greater flexibility, thanks to the availability of a large reserve of skilled and unskilled workers who lost their jobs in the construction sector because of the 2008 economic crisis. TCN posted workers are under blackmail because of the precarity of their migration status.
•In the Danish and Swiss construction sector, some Italian sending companies linked to organised crime put in place a system of recruitment and transnational posting based onthe gangmaster system.
•Moroccan and Tunisian posted workers sent to Belgium via Italy are mainly immigrants who have resided in Italy for many years. They have been particularly affected by the 2008 economic crisis and they are forced to accept to be posted because oftheir precarious migratory status and/or their economic vulnerability.
•Moroccan and Tunisian posted workers employed by Italian companies are mainly immigrants who have resided in Italy for many years because since the 2008 economic crisis Italy has adopted restrictive migration policies that have reduced labour immigration from third countries, thus influencing the composition of the TCN postings.