Economic Crisis, Austerity and Trade Unions' Response: The Irish Case in Comparative Perspective

Monday, 11 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal 16 (Main Building)
Distributed Paper
John GEARY, University College Dublin, Ireland
This paper attempts to understand trade union responses to the economic crisis in Ireland. The ‘Irish story’ is one primarily of union accommodation and cooperation. Conflict was present, but it was sporadic and generally sectional in nature, and did not reach the scale of mass mobilization witnessed in the other European countries that received financial aid from the EU-IMF. Why was Ireland different is explained by the nature of the contextual challenge, unions’ ideological inheritance, organizational capacity, and the opportunity structures afforded unions.