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Mobilising societal power: Understanding public support for nursing strikes

Framing  is  regarded  as  the  primary  mechanism through which unions generate societal power. This article  examines  the  relationship  between  societal power and framing in a significant case study—a nursing strike that successfully challenged austerity wages in Ireland. Through analysis of messages of support for the strike in newspapers and on Twitter, the sources of societal power in the conflict are identified. The findings indicate that the framing strategies unions adopt and public acceptance of these strategies depend on historical and sectoral factors. In the instant case, nurses benefitted from increased societal support for the broader labour movement and recent waves of protest.

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