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Living on the MarginsUndocumented Migrants in A Global City$
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Alice Bloch and Sonia McKay

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781447319368

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447319368.001.0001

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Undocumented migrants living and working in London

Undocumented migrants living and working in London

(p.75) Four Undocumented migrants living and working in London
Living on the Margins

Alice Bloch

Sonia McKay

Policy Press

This chapter focuses on the working lives of undocumented migrants. In particular it explores the constant juxtaposition of working lives with irregularity in five main areas: job search and routes into employment; jobs and sectors of employment; terms and conditions of work and the precarious nature of employment; experiences of work within and outside of the ethnic enclave; and workplace relations. For the most part work is insecure, with poor terms and conditions, including long and unsocial hours without overtime payments. Work was mostly for employers or managers from the same ethnic and/or linguistic group in some of the most informal parts of the economy. However, being undocumented does not mean a total absence of agency and the chapter shows how undocumented migrants are able to make incremental improvements to their working lives by adopting particular tactics in terms of skills acquisition, job mobility and even geographical mobility.

Keywords:   Undocumented migrants, Work, Employment, Jobs, Pay, Ethnic enclave, Informal economy

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