29 April, 2014

Visit to the Irish Congress Trade Union

Recently, Champlain Abroad Dublin’s Conflict Management (COM 315) class went to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions building. The visit to the Congress Trade Union highlighted the significance of industrial conflict all over the world. As students, I thought that this topic of industrial conflict was particularly relevant. After arriving at the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, the class was greeted by our presenter, Fiona. A main goal of Fiona’s and the Irish Congress Trade Union is to educate students from secondary school and college level students about worker’s rights, and more specifically, intern rights. This program aims to expand student’s understanding of resolving conflict in the work place and collectively working towards a healthy work environment for all.

Fiona drew on aspects of abuse and unequal rights regarding laborers around the world. One initial point Fiona spoke about was the rise of globalization and the impact that this phenomenon has posed on the industrial community as a whole. Fiona mentioned that capitol, in the sense of multi-national corporations, has the ability to shift from coun

try to country, flying around the world to establish themselves in geographic locations that prove to be beneficial to the company. In contrast, labor is not as mobile and therefore, laborers are subjected to the companies and corporations location in the finite surroundings. The unequal benefits reaped from the access to globalization are a key component in the overall corruptions of balance in the industrial world.

Becca Ramaci
Champlain Abroad Dublin, Spring 2014
Throughout this visit, we learned a lot in regards to the benefits of union organizations, as well as workers’ rights/interns rights. Specifically, we discussed the phenomenon of a “zero hours contract” which basically employs an individual as continuously on-call. Although this type of contract is now illegal, when it was implemented, individuals would have to be available at the “drop of a hat” or else they would loose the chance to work. According to our text, Managing Conflict Through Communication, this type of industrial conflict can be labelled as a competitive conflict strategy. In other words this "win-lose" strategy is defined as being, "dominating, controlling and forcing one's decision on others"(Abigail & Cahn 82).

Becca Ramaci
Champlain Abroad Dublin, Spring 2014
Champlain College, Pre-Clinical Psychology’15 

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