Workers' rights

Workers have the right to form and join trade unions, engage in collective bargaining, and take industrial action in defence of their interests.

edited on Apr 13, 2015 by James Doran

Andrew Bulovsky Apr 13, 2015

James, is that the language you'd like to officially propose for usage? 

James Doran Apr 13, 2015

I have changed the words around but not the substance of the text.

Daniel Gaunt Apr 13, 2015

If there is going to be a freedom of association clause, this should probably be part of that (as in the ECHR):

Article 11 – Freedom of assembly and association

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

2. No restrictions shall be placed on the exercise of these rights other than such as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. This article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on the exercise of these rights by members of the armed forces, of the police or of the administration of the State.

Scott Wilson Apr 14, 2015

I'd suggest that the proposed use of ECHR Article 11(2) be abridged to state:

No restrictions shall be placed on the exercise of these rights other than those prescribed by law and  are necessary in a democratic society for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. This article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on the exercise of these rights by members of the armed forces, of the police or of the administration of the State.

National security, public safety, prevention of disorder or crime, protection of health or morals should ALL be about protecting the rights and freedoms of others. However, by including them as an "or" it means that the right can be abridged for any of the above.  An extreme interpretation would mean than an Islamist could prohibit women associating with men they are not related to to protect "morals".  The issue about assembly and association is when it threatens others (including conspiring to commit terrorism).

Mark Cooke Apr 15, 2015

For the reasons I have given elsewhere,  I think it is better to stick with the ECHR unless there is a compelling case for amending the version of the right there.

Andrew Bulovsky Apr 17, 2015

Thanks for the update, James! Any other thoughts from the group?

Please do make sure you vote on the comments!

Scott Wilson Apr 18, 2015

While I'd also prefer just the ECHR text on Freedom of Association, as a compromise my only comment is that if we are to make it complete and consistent with the right to freedom of association, that it should include the right to "not" join a trade union (given some practices to pressure people to join) and the right to individual bargaining (which sounds obvious, but shouldn't be implicitly minimised by such a provision).  I also suggest replacing workers with "everyone" to cover the anomaly if someone isn't currently employed. So I'd suggest the text be amended to:

Everyone has the right to form trade unions, and join or refuse to join such trade unions, engage in collective and individual bargaining, and take industrial action in defence of their interests.

Mark Cooke Apr 18, 2015

This is not really necessary, as it is well established that freedom of association includes the right not to join (as well as to join) organisations.  .

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