ILO Governing Body sends ‘right to strike’ issue to ICJ

There has been a dispute between employees’ representatives and employers over the right to strike for a long time now


After almost a decade of dispute between employee representatives and employers, over the right to strike, the ILO Governing Body has voted to send the issue to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to be resolved.

As per the ILO jurisprudence, the right to strike is based on the international law from ILO Conventions 87 (Freedom of Association) and 98 (Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining). While the representatives of the workers are supportive of the ILO jurisprudence, the employers are not. When such conflicts arise, the ILO Constitution provides for them to be sent to ICJ for resolution.

When a vote was held recently, 19 government reps who are part of the Governing Body voted for sending the issue to ICJ. They were joined by 14 worker delegates. Only seven from the employers’ side voted.

The general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation believes that the workers have the fundamental right to strike so that they can bargain for fairness and uphold democracy.

The decision to send the matter to ICJ has been welcomed by all. Everyone is optimistic that this will legalise the ILO jurisprudence on the right to strike.

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