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Committee of Experts – IOE Submission on the Right to Strike

Monday 3 October 2011 by International Organisation of Employers

Committee of Experts – IOE Submission on the Right to Strike July 2011

As the ILO Committee of Experts (CEACR) is soon to prepare the 2012 General Survey on all Fundamental ILO Conventions, the IOE has formally reiterated the Employers’ historical position that the text of ILO Conventions 87 and 98 does not include « the right to strike ».

The right to strike has no legal basis in either of these Conventions according to all applicable methods of interpretation, as Employers have consistently reminded the Committee of Experts at every opportunity. Despite this, the CEACR has persisted in interpreting the right to strike as a fundamental right of workers and their organizations, and has repeatedly and rigidly applied its broad interpretation regardless of national, economic or political circumstances and of whether national laws provide for the right to strike. In its submission, the IOE requested the Experts to:

  • explain in detail in the Survey how the CEACR has arrived at its right to strike interpretations using the methods in the Vienna Convention;
  • reflect in detail in the Survey, as well as in the 2012 CEACR’s report, the points of view of the Employers and others on the lack of legal basis for the right to strike in either Convention Nos. 87 or 98; and
  • review the circumstances which gave rise to such a sustained and profound inconsistency between the views of the Experts and the practice of governments and legislatures, with a view to assessing whether the Experts’ rigid views might contribute to the alleged levels of non adherence to the so-called right to strike which has been inferentially read by the Experts into the language of the Convention, despite evidence to the contrary in the historical record.

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