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Hands off our right to strike!

19 February, 2015Workers around the globe staged a series of protests against employers’ attempts to challenge and potentially remove workers’ fundamental right to strike. This right is an integral part of the ILO Freedom of Association Convention 87.

On 18 February, a global day of action in defence of the right to strike was called by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and supported by IndustriALL Global Union. Workers of the world brought to their governments an uncompromising message to stop attacking workers’ right to strike.

The global call is a response to the attacks of Employers’ Group within the International Labour Organization (ILO) over ILO Convention 87 (C87) or the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize. C87 ensures the fundamental right of all workers to strike.

In Geneva, IndustriALL Global Union together with sister global unions BWI, IUF, PSI and UNI, representing collectively over 100 million workers, delivered letters to the missions and representations of the countries where workers’ right to strike is challenged or not supported. One of them is Turkey, where recently IndustriALL affiliate Birlesik Metal Is has faced a ban on its metal industry strike under the argument that it is “prejudicial to national security”.

The joint union delegation also visited Angolan and Indian missions and delivered letters demanding that governments of these countries “immediately support the global right to strike and end their opposition in the ILO Governing Body to referral of the dispute over this matter to the International Court of Justice.»

When addressing the gathering in front of the Mission of Angola, Kemal Özkan, IndustriALL Assistant General Secretary said, «We will never give up, we will continue to struggle, since without our right to strike we can't make sure our goal is achieved for everyone to live in equality. Hands off our right to strike!»

A similar message was also addressed in front of the Indian permanent mission.

The global call for action has been widely supported by numerous actions and demonstrations organized by IndustriALL affiliates in many countries, among others Chile, France, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Philippines, Turkey, Switzerland and United States.

Photos from the actions are available on IndustriALL flickr account. At https://www.flickr.com/photos/industriall_gu/sets/72157648579233394/ and https://www.flickr.com/photos/industriall_gu/sets/72157650841241246/.