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Roundtable - "What is strike? Definition and challenges of an “old” right in a futuristic world."

Fusco, Federico LU orcid (2018) 4th Labour Law Research Network Conference
Abstract
It is a universally acknowledged truth that the right to strike is one of the fundamentals of labour law. But what is it exactly? To what extent should it be protected and, thus, which limits are permissible?

To find a unique answer to those questions is an uneasy task. In the contemporary multilevel legal framework the right to strike is regulated by a variety of provisions, moving from international conventions down to enterprise level collective agreements and passing through regional treaties, constitutional norms, laws and court decisions. The fragmented nature of the right appeared evident in 2012, when the ILO’s Employers’ Group claimed, during the International Labour Conference, that «the right to strike has no legal... (More)
It is a universally acknowledged truth that the right to strike is one of the fundamentals of labour law. But what is it exactly? To what extent should it be protected and, thus, which limits are permissible?

To find a unique answer to those questions is an uneasy task. In the contemporary multilevel legal framework the right to strike is regulated by a variety of provisions, moving from international conventions down to enterprise level collective agreements and passing through regional treaties, constitutional norms, laws and court decisions. The fragmented nature of the right appeared evident in 2012, when the ILO’s Employers’ Group claimed, during the International Labour Conference, that «the right to strike has no legal basis in the freedom of association Conventions». The fracture was recomposed in 2015 with the signature of a joint statement with the Workers’ Group, but the International Organization for Employers is still wary of an accurate definition of the right to strike entrusted to the ILO Committee of Experts, thus underlining the need for elaborate discussion.

This fragmentation is confirmed by the analysis of the national legislations: as soon as we make a few steps away from the “hard core” of the right, relevant differences arise even between Countries with similar legal experiences. Aim of the strike, subjects entailed to call it, necessity (or not) of a link with an ongoing collective bargaining process, possibility to strike for the self-employee (especially when gig-workers) and links with merely political claims are only some of the issues that find different regulations in different Countries.

On top of that even with similar rules the structure of the industrial relation system and the interpretation provided by the courts may result in opposite ways of dealing with the same topic.

Those remarks show that, while the economic reality is more and more globally interconnected, there are still relevant divisions that undermine a better implementation of workers’ rights.

For those reasons we think that in order to ease the international debate there is a need of an investigation concerning the notion (or the different notions) of strike, also aimed to identify the border between lawful and unlawful limitations. This investigation should also consider the ongoing changes of the way to work, where the gradual abandoning of the “classical worker” risks to erode the right to strike.
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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to conference
publication status
in press
subject
keywords
right tot strike, labour law, comparative labour law, gig conomy
conference name
4th Labour Law Research Network Conference
conference location
Valparaiso, Chile
conference dates
2019-06-23 - 2019-06-25
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2c422544-8154-4bd8-910f-bd303df1a271
date added to LUP
2019-02-27 10:12:50
date last changed
2019-02-27 14:14:03
@misc{2c422544-8154-4bd8-910f-bd303df1a271,
  abstract     = {It is a universally acknowledged truth that the right to strike is one of the fundamentals of labour law. But what is it exactly? To what extent should it be protected and, thus, which limits are permissible?<br/><br/>To find a unique answer to those questions is an uneasy task. In the contemporary multilevel legal framework the right to strike is regulated by a variety of provisions, moving from international conventions down to enterprise level collective agreements and passing through regional treaties, constitutional norms, laws and court decisions. The fragmented nature of the right appeared evident in 2012, when the ILO’s Employers’ Group claimed, during the International Labour Conference, that «the right to strike has no legal basis in the freedom of association Conventions». The fracture was recomposed in 2015 with the signature of a joint statement with the Workers’ Group, but the International Organization for Employers is still wary of an accurate definition of the right to strike entrusted to the ILO Committee of Experts, thus underlining the need for elaborate discussion. <br/><br/>This fragmentation is confirmed by the analysis of the national legislations: as soon as we make a few steps away from the “hard core” of the right, relevant differences arise even between Countries with similar legal experiences. Aim of the strike, subjects entailed to call it, necessity (or not) of a link with an ongoing collective bargaining process, possibility to strike for the self-employee (especially when gig-workers) and links with merely political claims are only some of the issues that find different regulations in different Countries.<br/><br/>On top of that even with similar rules the structure of the industrial relation system and the interpretation provided by the courts may result in opposite ways of dealing with the same topic.<br/><br/>Those remarks show that, while the economic reality is more and more globally interconnected, there are still relevant divisions that undermine a better implementation of workers’ rights.<br/><br/>For those reasons we think that in order to ease the international debate there is a need of an investigation concerning the notion (or the different notions) of strike, also aimed to identify the border between lawful and unlawful limitations. This investigation should also consider the ongoing changes of the way to work, where the gradual abandoning of the “classical worker” risks to erode the right to strike.<br/>},
  author       = {Fusco, Federico},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Roundtable - "What is strike? Definition and challenges of an “old” right in a futuristic world."},
  year         = {2018},
}