Occupation as resistance: The case of worker sit-ins in the Irish Republic

Cullinane, Niall
Dundon, Tony
N. Cullinane and T. Dundon, 2010, Occupation as resistance: The case of worker sit-ins in the Irish Republic, paper presented to the International Industrial Relations Association Conference (IIRA), Copenhagen, 28 th - 30 th June.
Replicating global trends, the Irish Republic has been mired in a deepening fiscal and economic crisis since 2008. At workplace level there has been a steady increase in cash-strapped firms forced to restructure and/or close operations. Consequently, a number of employers have imposed redundancy, often without negotiation, and based on minimum statutory entitlements. In reply, worker mobilization has increased in both a scale and form not seen in the Irish Republic for some decades. Specifically, small numbers of employees have responded through the deployment of direct action with sit-ins and mass occupations of company premises. This paper outlines the context, form and trajectory of worker occupations as a tactical response to organizational restructuring and financial crisis management using a case study of three Irish occupations in 2009. The analysis will examine the antecedent influences and factors surrounding the phenomenon of worker sit-ins as well as points of comparison and difference in respective cases. Finally, examining disputes where sit-ins have been deployed, the paper seeks to evaluate its capacity for securing workers' concerns in countering the threat of redundancy
International Industrial Relations Association (IIRA)
Publisher DOI
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland