25 February 2015
According to a press release from ITUC today (25 February 2015), a breakthrough has been made at the International Labour Organisation(ILO) following two years during which employers at the ILO brought the UN body’s global supervisory system to a standstill in an attempt to wipe out decades of ILO jurisprudence supporting the right to strike.
Union and employer representatives have now reached an understanding at a special ILO meeting this week to end the impasse, based on recognition of the right to take industrial action, backed by explicit recognition from governments of the right to strike, linked to ILO Convention 87 on Freedom of Association.
The agreement comes on the back of a hugely successful international union mobilisation on 18 February, which involved more than 100 actions in over 60 countries in support of the right to strike.
Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said:
Having created the crisis, employer groups and some governments were refusing to allow the issue to be taken to the International Court of Justice even though the ILO Constitution says it should be. We’ve now managed to negotiate a solution which protects the fundamental right of workers to take strike action, and allows the ILO to resume fully its work to supervise how governments respect their international labour standards obligations.
Further reports and analysis of the agreement will be provided by IER shortly