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5 reasons why we need the right to strike

16 February, 2015The fundamental right to strike is under attack from employers and governments at the International Labour Organization (ILO), which sets global standards on labour rights. 

Eliminating this human right would have serious repercussions on us all.

Here are five key reasons why we need the right to strike:

  1. Striking is a last resort but sometimes the only tool for workers to protect themselves.

  2. To avoid being at the complete mercy of employers.

  3. To give more of a balance between worker and employer power.

  4. Without it, more and more governments will ban industrial action and punish people who dare to strike.

  5. Most strikes are over pay and better working conditions. Without the threat of strike action, corporations will be able to make bigger profits, while working conditions will get worse.

Making a stand

On 18 February, ahead of a key ILO meeting on the right to strike from 23-25 February, unions and workers around the world will be protesting to safeguard this fundamental right.

Employers’ groups and certain governments are challenging the long-accepted belief that ILO Convention 87 on Freedom of Association, which is ratified by 153 countries, up-holds the right to strike.

The workers’ group and unions worldwide want the matter referred to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) but there are several government members that oppose it.

They are:

Algeria Iran
Angola Kenya
Cambodia Russia
China Sudan
Korea UAE
Ghana USA
India Zimbabwe

There are also deputy government members that oppose referring the issue to the ICJ. They don’t have a vote but do exercise influence:

Bahrain Lesotho
Bangladesh Mali
Botswana Mauritania
Brunei Pakistan
Ethiopia Tanzania
Indonesia Chad
Jordan Thailand