Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, this article re-assesses ‘post-communist’ transformation in the Baltic countries from the perspective of labour. The argument is based on a historical materialist approach focusing on the social relations of production as a starting point. It is contended that the uneven and combined unfolding of ‘post-communist’ transformation has subjected Baltic labour to doubly constituted exploitation processes. First, workers in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have suffered from extreme neoliberal restructuring of economic and employment relations at home. Second, migrant workers from Central and Eastern Europe in general, trying to escape exploitation at home, have faced another set of exploitative dynamics in host countries in Western Europe such as the UK. Nevertheless, workers have continued to challenge exploitation in Central and Eastern Europe and also in Western Europe, and have been active in extending networks of transnational solidarity across the continent.
The Economic and Labour Relations Review
Date of publication
April 28, 2020