IFJ Calls on Affiliates to Back ‘Right to Strike’ Campaign

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is calling on its affiliates across the world to support the fundamental ‘Right to Strike’ of workers which is coming under attack from employers' representatives at the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The IFJ is urging its affiliates to lobby the governments of their countries to support the workers' campaign to protect the right to strike under international law.

In particular, the IFJ calls on affiliates from countries whose governments are represented on the ILO Governing Body, either as a titular or deputy member, to back the proposal of referring the dispute on the right to strike to the International Court of Justice.

A letter template is available for download HERE which IFJ affiliates can send to the governments in their countries. A list of the countries whose governments are on the ILO Governing Body is also attached HERE.

The ILO is the international body that gives an equal voice to workers, employers and government to ensure that their views are closely reflected in labour standards and in shaping policies and programmes. For much of its history, the ILO has supervised the application of conventions and recommendations with the support of its three groups.

However, since 2012, the Employers’ Group at the ILO has embarked on a sustained and deliberate attack on this system by seeking to undermine the authority of the ILO’s independent Committee of Experts, which has determined what conventions mean since 1926.

In particular, the Employers’ Group is attempting to strip back ILO Convention 87 on Freedom of Association which guarantees workers the right to take strike action.

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) contends that the Employers’ Group has a deeply flawed understanding of the right to freedom of association. View the ITUC’s legal brief on the right to strike, available HERE 

As a member of the Global Unions Federation, the IFJ fully backs the position of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the Workers’ Group at the ILO.

The Employers Group has made it clear that it will continue to disrupt the ILO supervisory system on Convention 87 and the role of the Committee of Experts. As a result, the ILO governing Body must take action to protect the system and refer the right to strike to the International Court of Justice for an advisory opinion.

The IFJ joins the ITUC in urging all governments to join the Workers' Group in supporting this decision at the forthcoming session of the Governing Body in November 2014.

Failure to do so will mean that governments can expect the Employers Group to return, year after year, with further, unfounded challenges to the Committee of Experts, and a forever weakened and dysfunctional supervisory system. This must be prevented.

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 17

The IFJ represents more than 600 000 journalists in 134 countries