Notes about Irelands, very useful
4a) Globalization has had a beneficial effect for Irish labor. The country has low unemployment (4.6% as of June 2002). Minimum wage has risen from 5.97 to 6.35 euros an hour. The Irish labor force has many legal protections, including the right to association and the right to organize and bargain collectively. They also have paid time off, sick leave, social security, workday breaks, and protection against unfair dismissal. These laws are all very similar to US labor laws. Thirty one percent of the Irish labor forces are union members.
4b) The environment in Ireland has suffered severely from growing industry and economic development. 45% of Irish drinking water is bacteriologically contaminated with human and animal feces. Only 1% of original Irish oak forests remain standing. In 1999 Ireland appeared in the European Court of Justice over a scandal regarding the quality of drinking water .
According to the World Conservation and Monitoring Center, Ireland is last in the European Union for protection of the natural environment and biodiversity. The Irish government is working to improve environmental quality by signing onto and complying with a number of international agreements concerning issues such as air pollution, desertification, marine dumping, wetlands protection, whaling, etc.
4c) Ireland's political system is based on English common law and is largely democratic. Universal suffrage is granted to all citizens at age 18, who are then able to elect the executive and legislative branches. The judicial branch is appointed by the president. Globalization has not necessarily had an identifiable impact on the Irish political system, although it may have impacted social legislation, such as legalization of divorce in 1995.
4d) Ireland has a labor force of 1.8 million people, which is composed of both men and women. Women play an important role...