The Dutch Constitution was updated in 1983 and now contains a list of fundamental social rights. The recognition of those rights, even though it is late, has had a strengthened impact on the fundamental rights concerning the labor law in the Netherlands. Furthermore, since the 1960's, the Netherlands has ratified a growing number of international treaties such as the conventions of the International Labor Organization, United Nation and the Council of Europe, which, thanks to the philosophy of monism followed by the Netherlands, come into force nationally as soon as they were authorized by Parliament. However, the lack of constitutional protection for workers and the relatively recent ratifications of international social and economic rights treaties have not hampered the development of union and stable industrial relations. The first characteristic pointed by authors to qualify labor relations in the Netherlands is the predominance of industrial peace with relatively few industrial disputes. The current Dutch freedom to strike is guaranteed implicitly, and based on a case law of 1986, which decided the direct applicability of the European Social Charter in the national courts and therefore the right for workers to engage collective actions settled in article 6, paragraph 4. With respect to the European Social Charter, though the freedom to strike can not be denied, it is the responsibility of each state party to manage limits of its application. How did the Netherlands organize the right to strike, under a traditional culture of conflict avoidance within industrial relations in the light of international conventions?
[...] The court is opened to hear cases brought by customers' organisation who argue for the defence of public interests. It is on this ground that, the bus drivers' action in 1997 had been declared illegal by Dutch courts during the rush-hour periods, not without criticisms from the Council of Europe. The last condition regarding the procedural rules is the respect of the peace obligation or no-strike obligation, which could set out in the collective agreement. These kinds of clauses are not prohibited and make the industrial disputes relating to the provisions of an existing agreement unlawful. [...]
[...] JACOBS, Labour Law in the Netherlands, Kluwer Law International - Antoine T.J.M. JACOBS, Chapter Collective Bargaining and Wages in Comparative Perspective, Kluwer Law International - Paul VAN DER HEIJDEN, Chapter Employment and Industrial Relations in Europe, Vol European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions - Walter KENDALL, The Labour Movement in Europe, Allen Lane - Aukje A.H. VAN HOEK, Collective Agreements and Individual Contracts of Employment Netherlands Report, Kluwer Law International - Annie DE ROO, the settlement of collective labour dispute in the Netherlands National Report - Centaal Bureau voor de Statistiek web site - Tonia NOVITZ, International and European Protection of the Right to Strike: A Comparative Study of Standards Set by the International Labour Organization, the Council of Europe and the European Union, Oxford University Press (via google books and not available in its whole) - Website EUROFOND, the right to strike, last updated: 19 March - Website European Industrial Relation Observatory (EIRO) Robert VAN HET KLAAR, latest developments in Strike Robert VAN HET KLAAR, Case law governing strike activity reviewed - International Labour Law Review, Vol 137, Principle concerning the right to strike - Website of the European Social Charter (database, national reports and digest of cases law) - Sjaak van DER VELDEN & Peter DOORN, The striking Netherlands: Times Series Analysis and Models of Socio-economic Development and Labour Disputes, 1850-1995 (http://hsr-trans.zhsf.uni- koeln.de/hsrretro/docs/artikel/hsr/hsr2001_514.pdf) A.T.J.M. [...]
[...] Actually, the reality of the right to strike lies in the the action respects some procedural rules and a reasonable character”. Restrictions to engage the strike are compatible even implied recommended, with the right to strike according to the ILO and the ECSR. As far as I am concerned, it is actually necessary to the cohabitation of the rights of each others, and negotiations are by definition more constructive than a strike action to determine employment conditions. However the right to strike exists, no matter it appears archaic or contemporary issue in current labour relations, and so has to be guaranteed. [...]
[...] Walter Kendall comments that "the decision of 1960 seems virtually to have abolished the right to strike”. 2-2 The recognition of the freedom to strike In 1972 the Amsterdam Court of Appeal overturned the principle and held that a strike is legal unless the circumstances of the case made it illegal. Despite the introduction of a bill from the government to regulate the right to strike in 1969, the decision of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal place the foundations for all future cases law on strikes until 1986. [...]
[...] The Courts, which usually accept to consider the request, will then determinate, on the basis of the rules given by the Hoge Raad, if the collective action is a legal strike. The organisation of Dutch unions is regulated by the right to association and benefits the full civil personality and therefore can be brought before a Court. In the cases of legal strike Even if the Court authorized the trade unions to go ahead with the strike, judges will also incite to come back on negotiations and find a compromise as quick as possible. [...]
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