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Redundancy and workplace occupation: the case of the Republic of Ireland

Redundancy and workplace occupation: the case of the Republic of Ireland Purpose – This paper aims to examine the antecedent influences and merits of workplace occupations as a tactical response to employer redundancy initiatives. Design/methodology/approach – The data are based on analysis of secondary documentary material reporting on three workplace occupations in the Republic of Ireland during 2009. Findings – Perceptions of both procedural (e.g. employer unilateral action) and substantive (e.g. pay and entitlements) justice appear pivotal influences. Spillover effects from other known occupations may also be influential. Workplace occupations were found to produce some modest substantive gains, such as enhancing redundancy payments. The tactic of workplace occupation was also found to transform unilateral employer action into scenarios based upon negotiated settlement supported by third‐party mediation. However the tactic of workplace occupation in response to redundancy runs the risks of potential judicial injunction and sanction. Research limitations/implications – Although operationally difficult, future studies should strive to collect primary data workplace occupations as they occur. Originality/value – The paper identifies conditions conducive to the genesis of workplace occupations and the extent to which the tactic may be of benefit in particular circumstances to workers facing redundancy. It also contextualises the tactic in relation to both collective mobilisation and bargaining theories in employment relations. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Employee Relations: An International Journal Emerald Publishing

Redundancy and workplace occupation: the case of the Republic of Ireland

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0142-5455
DOI
10.1108/01425451111174102
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to examine the antecedent influences and merits of workplace occupations as a tactical response to employer redundancy initiatives. Design/methodology/approach – The data are based on analysis of secondary documentary material reporting on three workplace occupations in the Republic of Ireland during 2009. Findings – Perceptions of both procedural (e.g. employer unilateral action) and substantive (e.g. pay and entitlements) justice appear pivotal influences. Spillover effects from other known occupations may also be influential. Workplace occupations were found to produce some modest substantive gains, such as enhancing redundancy payments. The tactic of workplace occupation was also found to transform unilateral employer action into scenarios based upon negotiated settlement supported by third‐party mediation. However the tactic of workplace occupation in response to redundancy runs the risks of potential judicial injunction and sanction. Research limitations/implications – Although operationally difficult, future studies should strive to collect primary data workplace occupations as they occur. Originality/value – The paper identifies conditions conducive to the genesis of workplace occupations and the extent to which the tactic may be of benefit in particular circumstances to workers facing redundancy. It also contextualises the tactic in relation to both collective mobilisation and bargaining theories in employment relations.

Journal

Employee Relations: An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 4, 2011

Keywords: Sit‐ins; Workplace occupations; Redundancy; Ireland; Industrial relations; Disputes

References