Workers bring the right to strike to the ICJ

At the extraordinary session of the International Labour Organization's (ILO) Governing Body, the workers' proposal to present an advisory opinion to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) regarding the incorporation of the right to strike as a safeguarded right under the ILO Convention N0. 87 on freedom of association was formally endorsed following a vote.

Since 2021, the matter has been contested by the employers’ group after it withdrew from participating in the Committee on the Application of Standards regarding any issue that touched on the application of the right to strike. The employers argued that the terms of ILO Convention No. 87 do not cover the right to strike, and even objected to the interpretation shared for more than 70 years by the Committee of Experts on Conventions and Recommendations and social partners.


"The right to strike is a fundamental foundation of democracy and economic justice, and this must be a question that can be dealt with in the future within the structure of ILO. It is important to recognise the hard work of the representatives of the Workers Group that led to the proposal being adopted. I want to highlight the role played by the Governing Body Members, especially UOCRA General Secretary Gerardo Martinez, who since the beginning has been one of the driving forces behind the trade union strategy to actively tackle the issue, and BWFM General Secretary Phyo Sandar Soe, who is also one of BWI’s Vice Presidents, who through her role in opposing the military junta in Myanmar has shown the importance of the right to strike in protecting democracy,” BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson said.