Union Recognition and Partnership at Work: A New Legitimacy for Irish Trade Unions?

19 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2005

See all articles by Daryl D'Art

Daryl D'Art

University of Limerick - Kemmy Business School

Thomas Turner

University of Limerick - Kemmy Business School

Abstract

In the Irish context of national partnership and the promotion of workplace partnership at firm level, unions might be expected to have achieved, at least, a pragmatic acceptance by employers. Using a survey of full-time union officials in eight trade unions organising in the private sector, this paper reports their experiences of recent recognition campaigns. Employer opposition appears to have intensified, and in a substantial percentage of cases has involved the victimisation of activists. In facilitating employees to make a free choice regarding union representation, the Codes of Practice and the Industrial Relations Amendment Act 2001 are regarded by the majority of officials as inadequate. A majority of officials favoured the introduction of a statutory right to recognition. Non-union firms appear as 'free riders' that have enjoyed the benefits of national partnership but evaded the compromises and concessions that necessarily characterise such agreements. If left unchecked, the free-rider phenomenon could undermine the institutional framework on which partnership is based.

Suggested Citation

D'Art, Daryl and Turner, Thomas, Union Recognition and Partnership at Work: A New Legitimacy for Irish Trade Unions?. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=678434

Daryl D'Art (Contact Author)

University of Limerick - Kemmy Business School ( email )

Limerick
Ireland

Thomas Turner

University of Limerick - Kemmy Business School ( email )

Limerick
Ireland

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