The Right to Collective Action in Labour Relations in Estonia: Is the Right to Organise a Strike Guaranteed?
Keywords:support strike, lockout, right to strike in international law, right to strike in the European Social Charter
In Estonia, a new draft law on collective agreements and collective labour disputes has been discussed. Besides conclusion of collective agreements, an important role is played by various collective actions that are connected to the process of collective bargaining. The majority of attention on the international level has been paid to the regulation of strikes and exercise of the right to strike. The recent conflict between employers’ representatives and the ILO shows very clearly that legal regulation of exercise of the right to strike is a very important issue, clearly worthy of discussion. The conventions of the ILO do not contain any definition of ‘strike’ per se. Also, the ILO conventions do not enshrine any right to strike. At the same time, one can find reference in the European Social Charter to employees’ right to use strikes in order to protect their interests. Although a right to strike has been recognised in such contexts, the regulation of support strikes is not settled and is far from guaranteeing a right in this respect. In today’s situation, one cannot argue that regulation of support strikes is necessary, because of international labour standards.