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Trade unions

In the same way, but from a different perspective, trade unions should be included in any policy dialogue. Many foreign workers do not have access to union representation, either because they think they do not need it, because there is no culture of union organisation in their countries, or because unions themselves see immigrants as competitors for local workers (OECD, 2010). The risk is that some employers take advantage of the situation to break labour and wage regulations, for instance by not paying overtime.

The expertise of trade unions is therefore useful in improving the working conditions of immigrants and fighting against potential discrimination. In addition, trade unions can help promote dialogue with native workers to facilitate interaction with immigrants and reduce social tensions (OECD, 2007b). This supposes that foreign workers gain better access to union representation, but also that trade unions accept better to protect foreign workers.

The private sector

Private companies are directly concerned by migration policies, as border controls affect labour force supply, both quantitatively and qualitatively. For this reason they should be more involved in the decisions that concern work permits or temporary and return migration programmes. In this respect, employers' associations play a significant role in the shaping of immigration policies (OECD, 2010). As shown in Chapter 2, lobbying groups contribute to curbing migration restrictions: in the United States, a 10% increase in lobbying expenditures per native worker leads to a 3.1% to 5% increase in the number of visas (Facchini et al., 2010).

The governance of migration should be extended to corporate governance, in particular with regard to the protection of the rights of migrant workers. Employers must proactively take part in the dialogue on migration reform and improving migrant rights. They also need to organise orientation programmes upon arrival, and improve international recruitment practices (BSR, 2009).

Academic sector

The gap between academic research and public decisions needs to be reduced. Most public authorities are not aware of the advances of migration- related research and therefore do not take them into account at the time of designing migration policies. Conversely, many researchers are not really concerned with the policy implications of their works. Seminars gathering policy makers and researchers make the dialogue easier. The public financing of policy-oriented research also helps bridge the gap and contributes to adopting more efficient migration policies.

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