The EIRO industrial relations observatory reports that new legislation has introduced the right to strike for workers in the civil service, energy, telecommunications and healthcare sectors for the first time. Restrictions were placed on these sectors when labour dispute resolution laws were introduced in 1990. Unions have been campaigning since then for a proper right to strike rather than a right to symbolic action.
Strike restrictions on public services lifted
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The three main trade union confederations have jointly refused to continue negotiations over the next two-year pay deal for the private sector. They argue that the pay formula that guides the negotiations leaves only 0.4% as a basis for salary increases. The unions point out that this would mean only a EUR 6.00 gross increase on the minimum wage and just EUR 9.00 for many jobs deemed to be essential during the pandemic. The unions say that the formula, set in 1996 and revised in 2017, is inappropriate for the current situation and fails to take account of the economic impact of the virus.