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Migrant Labor Regime and Labor Market Intermediaries in the Taiwanese Semiconductor Industry

  • With an increasing trend towards neoliberal immigration policies, the migration regime provides flexibility with regard to the workforce and the labour market as a whole. And there has been more engagement between research on the labour regime for migrant workers in global production networks (GPN) (Coe and Hess, 2013, Baglioni et al., 2022, Raj-Reichert, 2013). As functional and geographical fragmentation of production poses challenges for collective labour power at the nodes of GPNs (Mosley, 2010), for migrant workers in particular, new needs for research on how the connection between flexibilisation and migration shapes the local labour market arise conceptually and empirically (Baglioni et al., 2022). This dissertation aims at developing a conceptual framework of migrant labour regime (MLR) with a particular focus on the interplay of the role of the state, the firm and labour market intermediaries (LMI) in global production networks (GPN) and illustrates this by the example of Filipino migrant workers in the Taiwanese semiconductor industry. Furthermore, the study examines working conditions of migrant workers to expand the conceptualization of social upgrading. The primary data for this dissertation are collected through semi-structured interviews with key persons in the semiconductor industry and survey of 457 Filipino migrant workers in two clusters of the Taiwanese semiconductor industry: Kaohsiung and Hsinchu. On the one hand, the study demonstrates the different roles of actors and connections within the GPN. For example, firstly, it emphasises the importance of the state and firms in shaping the MLR. Secondly, the coordination between contract manufacturers and lead firms in the GPN leads to a transformation of the workplace, e.g., intensification and increased flexibility. Thirdly, LMIs play a role in facilitating and mediating migrant labour in the transnational labour market. The coupling between the local labour market and the GPN is essential to understand the dynamics resulting from commercial pressure and inter-firm relationships. One the other hand, the study uses social upgrading as an analytical lens to examine the working conditions and further improve the understanding of the migration process in the cross-border labor market.

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Author: Tingchien Chen
Title Additional (German):Wanderarbeitsregime und Arbeitsmarktvermittler in der taiwanesischen Halbleiterindustrie
Referee:Prof. Dr. Neil M. Coe, Prof. Dr. Daniel Schiller
Advisor:Prof. Dr. Daniel Schiller
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Year of Completion:2022
Date of first Publication:2023/02/09
Granting Institution:Universität Greifswald, Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Date of final exam:2023/01/16
Release Date:2023/02/09
GND Keyword:Migrant labor regime, Labor market intermediary
Page Number:159
Faculties:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Geologische Wissenschaften
DDC class:900 Geschichte und Geografie / 950 Geschichte Asiens