Latest news on legal developments – right to strike

Europe

The ETUCLEX newsletter, produced by the ETUC’s legal team, provides a regular update on key legal developments across Europe and in the latest issue includes reports on the right to strike. In a long-running case involving the right to strike of civil servants in Germany, the European Court of Human Rights recently ruled that disciplinary action taken against teachers who took industrial action in 2009 and 2010  did not involve a breach of their human right to freedom of association. The Court found that the particular circumstances of civil servants in Germany in relation to their pay and conditions, job guarantees and other factors, meant that the interference in the right to strike could be justified. However, there was a dissenting opinion and both the DGB confederation and GEW teachers’ union believe there are potential positives to be taken from the decision. The GEW argues that the ruling is an invitation to the federal and state governments to sit down with public sector trade unions to talk about a further democratic development of civil service law. The newsletter also reports on union initiatives in the UK to challenge the government’s restrictions on the right to strike, particularly in the public services.

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