Employers, trade unions and concession bargaining in the Irish recession

William K. Roche, Paul Teague, Anne Coughlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The issue of concession bargaining between employers and unions during the Great Recession has received little attention in the research literature. This article presents a systematic analysis of the conduct of concession bargaining during the recession in Ireland in the context of three forms of concession bargaining identified in the international literature: integrative concession bargaining, distributive concession bargaining and ultra concession bargaining – each with different but overlapping sets of institutional foundations and implications for employers and trade unions. Drawing on focus groups of managers and union officials and a representative survey of employers, the article shows that distributive concession bargaining has been the predominant form in the Irish recession. This form of concession bargaining is likely to have few lasting direct effects on employer or union roles in collective bargaining but nevertheless appears to have significant indirect implications for the silent marginalization of unions in workplaces.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-676
Number of pages24
JournalEconomic and Industrial democracy
Issue number4
Early online date01 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


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