26 Oct, 2022 by Marianne Favre Moreillon

Striking, but not under any conditions

26 Oct, 2022 by Marianne Favre Moreillon

Between strikes and threats of strikes, the autumn promises to be hot on the social claims front. To be legal, a strike must meet strict conditions.

The right to strike is enshrined in the Federal Constitution. It is a collective refusal of employees to perform their work in order to obtain certain working conditions.

However, not all work suspensions for the purpose of demanding certain working conditions are legal. Indeed, the strike must meet specific and strict cumulative conditions in order to be authorized.

Moreover, the strike must only be used as a last resort, when discussions and negotiations have failed.

The legislator has also provided that the use of strike action may be restricted. This is particularly the case in the public administration law.

In terms of sanctions, the possibility of terminating the employment contract of striking employees will depend on whether the strike is lawful or not.

This article develops the following topics:

  • the constitutional right to strike
  • conditions for the lawfulness of a strike
  • employee’s organization
  • negotiation of working conditions
  • principle of proportionality of the strike
  • restrictions on the right to strike
  • consequences of a strike on workers' salaries
  • termination of workers who participate in a strike

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