Finnish trade union confederations turn down European Commission's proposal to limit the right to strike
The three union confederations in Finland - SAK, STTK and Akava - regard it as impossible to approve the European Commission's proposal concerning the right to strike. The proposal was published on March 21.The Commission wants to define, with the so-called Monti II Regulation, the relationship between the right to take industrial action and the freedom of establishment (right to set up and operate a business from any member state) and freedom to provide services. The problem of how to reconcile economic and social rights has come to light at the Court of Justice of the European Union when handling disputes (the Viking and Laval cases) which cross the borders of member states and involve different national legislation.
SAK, STTK and Akava say in their joint press release that efforts to tie or correlate the right to strike with economic freedoms would mean setting conditions on the right to strike and thus de facto dilute the internationally approved right.
The Commission's proposal contravenes the ILO Convention No. 87 on the right to organize SAK, STTK and Akava point out. They remind us also that the right to strike is guaranteed under Europe's Social Charter, in the legal practice concerning the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The right to strike is a fundamental and basic right, guaranteed by international conventions, and it should not be limited. Industrial peace is preserved and industrial actions avoided most effectively through dialogue and cooperation between the employer and employee organizations, the Finnish union confederations stress.
Helsinki, 28.3.2012 - Juhani Artto