In this post we are going to learn about the right to strike, being a complex right whose main objective will be the defense of the interests of workers.
What is the right to strike?
In its individual form, the strike is the worker's right to protest, temporarily stopping carrying out their tasks without the company sanctioning them.
The exercise of the strike
Something fundamental to be able to carry out the strike is the advance notice to the employer with the idea that a series of claims can be put to an end and above all the notice to the citizen, since carrying out such a right can generate a conflictive situation. only within the company but also in people's daily lives.
Who can promote the strike?
We can find this point in art 3 paragraph a) and b) of the Royal Decree Law 17/1977, of March 4, highlighting that the people who can promote the strike are workers through their representatives. “The agreement will be adopted, in a joint meeting of said representatives, by majority decision of them. Of the meeting, which must be attended by at least seventy-five percent of the representatives” “and the workers themselves, from the workplace, affected by the conflict, “When twenty-five percent of the workforce decides, said agreement will be put to a vote.”.
It is important to note that this vote must always be secret and will be decided by a simple majority.
In addition to the workers' representatives, union organizations with a certain presence in the sector will be able to participate in the declaration of the strike.
The advance notice
Once an agreement has been reached to be able to start the strike, we must notify the employer or employers in advance with a five days lead time and In cases of strike that affects public services, advance notice of at least ten days will have to be given.
The declaration of the strike and its communication must always be carried out in writing and communicated to the Labor Authority.
The strike committee
We cannot understand the strike committee as a representative body, but rather as a body to manage the strike. We must understand that the use of the strike as a measure of collective conflict will be able to start a complex situation and in some cases will pose a risk, therefore, the idea of this committee is to be able to control and do everything possible to that the exercise of this right is carried out in the best way.
The strike committee will be composed of a maximum number of twelve members and these are workers who are affected by the development of the strike.
The main functions of this committee will be:
- Try to resolve the collective conflict or strike as soon as possible. Negotiation and reaching an agreement are sought.
- Protect the company's assets.
- And the main objective is that activity can be resumed after the conflict ends.
Important points of the strike
In art 6 of Royal Decree Law 17/1977, of March 4, we can highlight different points that will be characteristic of the exercise of this constitutional right. These points will affect the workers who are part of the strike.
- 1) The employment relationship is not terminated during the strike. The employer may neither terminate the contract nor sanction the workers who participate in it.
- 2) During the strike the worker will have his contract suspended and will therefore not have the right to salary.
The worker will be in a situation of special discharge, without having the right to salary, proportional part of breaks, proportional part of extra pay and proportional part of incentives and bonuses.
- 3) The worker will be in a special situation regarding social security. This means that contributions by the employer and the worker themselves will be suspended.
- 4) The worker's freedom not to go on strike will be respected. A worker cannot be forced to have to participate directly in this collective conflict resolution measure.
- 5) During the strike, the employer may not replace the strikers with outside workers. The protection of minimum services will be ensured and the company's assets will be maintained.
End of the strike
The strike will come to an end in different ways. Highlighting among them:
- The natural end, reaching a solution to the collective conflict.
- Agreement or pact, highlighting the agreement between the parties. That is, throughout the process there will be negotiation in order to reach an agreement.
- And the use of arbitration, being a figure established by the Ministry of Labor to end the strike when neither the workers nor the employer are able to reach an agreement. The arbitrator's resolution regarding the end of the strike will be mandatory.
The legality of the strike
The strike will be able to be understood legally as illegal. When all the points established above are met, the strike may be understood as legal, but if this is not the case, the strike may be understood as illegal and this will have important legal consequences and sanctions.
Other strikes that are understood as illegal will be those of solidarity or support, those created to alter what was agreed in the collective agreement and those developed for political reasons.
If you want to have more information about this constitutional right, you can enter this link https://www.conceptosjuridicos.com/huelga/
If you are interested in specializing in labor law, people management, the application of HR within organizations and legal application in situations of collective conflict, find out about our Master in HR: People Management, Talent Development and Labor Management.