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[PDF] The right to strike and the ILO: The legal foundations

Author: International Trade Union Confederation, ITUC, Published on: 6 March 2014

This brief establishes that the right to strike is enshrined in ILO Convention 87, as well as within the broader international legal framework…The supervisory system of the ILO was correct in observing that the right to strike exists, and acted within their constitutional mandate and in conformity with the rules of treaty interpretation in so holding. Were the matter to be considered by the ICJ it is submitted that the latter should defer to the well-reasoned views of the ILO supervisory system, and in particular the Committee of Experts, and find that C87 protects the right to strike. In addition to the legal reasoning herein, the ICJ should also support the observations of the ILO for policy reasons…[A]n opinion in the negative would upend industrial relations worldwide, opening a door for governments to…restrict or limit the right to strike…Employers would have an enormous and unforeseen advantage over labour, as collective bargaining would essentially become a dead letter...

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