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Working in the Context of AusterityChallenges and Struggles$
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Donna Baines and Ian Cunningham

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781529208672

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529208672.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 26 January 2022

Legislation: A Double‑Edged Sword in Union Resistance to Zero-Hours Work – The Case of Ireland

Legislation: A Double‑Edged Sword in Union Resistance to Zero-Hours Work – The Case of Ireland

Chapter:
(p.261) 13 Legislation: A Double‑Edged Sword in Union Resistance to Zero-Hours Work – The Case of Ireland
Source:
Working in the Context of Austerity
Author(s):

Juliette MacMahon

Lorraine Ryan

Michelle O’Sullivan

Jonathan Lavelle

Caroline Murphy

Mike O’Brien

Tom Turner

Patrick Gunnigle

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781529208672.003.0013

This chapter highlights the resilience and buoyancy of neoliberal and austerity strategies and the difficulties that unions and their allies face in challenging them. It argues that austerity in Ireland ushered in a sharp rise in zero-hours work, or fragmented and variable working time arrangements that were largely exempt from protective legislation. Even though a union strategy met with victory in the form of new legislation prohibiting zero-hours contracts, employers found other means to enforce precarious and insecure employment. Closely examining the intersection of austerity and the new regulations, the chapter finds that the new legislation has further exacerbated the precariousness of many workers in the Irish context. It also served to further undermine the Standard Employment Relationship. The chapter then contends that collective bargaining has been the more effective way to curtail precarious types of work, although many precarious workers are not unionized and hence see more benefit from a fundamental reconceptualizing of the legal taxonomy of the employment relationship to more accurately reflect its fragmented, dispersed realities.

Keywords:   austerity strategies, unions, austerity, Ireland, zero-hours work, working time arrangements, zero-hours contracts, insecure employment, collective bargaining, precarious workers

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