LET’S DEFEND WORKERS’ RIGHT TO STRIKE! Statement by the General Confederation of Trade Unions (GCTU)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015
On the initiative of the International Trade Union Confederation, the 18th of February 2015 will be marked as a Global Day of Trade Union Action in Defence of the Right to Strike.
The strike has always been, and remains, a powerful weapon used by workers in the fight for the satisfaction of their demands, for decent work and social justice. At all levels, trade unions have turned to it only in exceptional circumstances when all other means to achieve results through social dialogue have been exhausted. The right of workers to strike is enshrined in international instruments, ILO Conventions, and national legislations of many countries.
However, in recent years, particularly in the crisis and post-crisis periods, a frontal attack on this right has been launched by employers, multinational companies, and, in some cases, by state and municipal authorities, including those in a number of countries, where GCTU affiliates operate. Persistent attempts to strip employees of this right by completely eliminating or undermining its effect have been made by the Employers’ Group at the International Labour Organisation, which ran against unanimous and bitter opposition by trade unions of different political orientation.
Given these facts and trends, the GCTU encourages the region’s trade union organisations at all levels and sectors of the economy to observe the Global Day of Action in Defence of the Right to Strike, and add their voice to the voice of the international trade union movement in the attempts to defend one of the fundamental labour rights - in the forms and to the extent as deemed appropriate and necessary.

General Confederation of Trade Unions