This paper examines the preconditions of the strike at the Greek steel company Hellenic Halyvourgia (HH) which started on 1 November 2011 and ended on 28 July 2012. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of current labour disputes in the context of economic crisis focusing on previous developments of mobilisation theory and social movement literature. The overall aim is to highlight the linkages between trade unions and society when a broader sense of injustice comes to the fore.
Qualitative methods were employed in order to contextualise the strike events and examine the preconditions of the occurrence and the volume of the strike. Semistructured interviews, field notes, interviews taken by the media, documentaries, chronicles and articles, constructed the main body of empirical material.
The HH case indicates that certain collective identities and leadership qualities account for high mobilisation potential with spillover effects which are in turn conditioned upon the situation of the strikers’ allies. Although there was an agency to transform the sense of injustice into collective action, the framing processes employed by the union did not have the kind of impact that would render state and management’s responses ineffective, as the strike message did not eventually penetrate other industries or even the rest factories of the HH.
The present paper goes beyond the general description of the social turmoil during the Greek crisis by showing the critical bonds that were established through framing and identity-building processes among the strikers and the anti-austerity protesters in Greece and abroad.
Bithymitris, G. (2016), "Union militancy during economic hardship: The strike at the Greek steel company “Hellenic Halyvourgia”", Employee Relations, Vol. 38 No. 3, pp. 373-389. https://doi.org/10.1108/ER-11-2014-0132Download as .RIS
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