The Protection of the Right to Strike under the ECHR

Charalampos Stylogiannis

Abstract



This paper seeks to examine, from a human rights perspective, the degree of protection of the right to strike under Article 11 ECHR.

Chapter One examines whether Article 11 ECHR offers any possibility for reading into its provisions a general right to strike. It will scrutinise the initial reluctance of the ECtHR to proceed to such an interpretation, and thus to adequately safeguard the right at issue.

Chapter Two discusses the course through which the initial despair preceded the subsequent hope of the Demir and Baykara judgement while considering the case’s impacts on the protection of the right to strike.

Chapter Three critically examines the decision in the RMT v. UK case, in which the ECtHR appeared to misplace any optimism its previous jurisprudence had generated. It will focus on the UK’s problematic pre-industrial notices which are necessary for the workers in escaping tortious liability, and on the classification, by the Court, of a secondary action as an ‘‘accessory’’, rather than a core aspect of trade unions’ activity.

Chapter Four at first refers to the importance of the right to strike as a human right. It is argued that its enhanced protection can result in the promotion of human rights for both those taking part in the industrial action and those who are not formally engaged in the dispute. Finally, it discusses why the ECHR constitutes the 'safest' route through which individuals and trade unions can challenge breaches vis a vis the right to strike.

 

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