Restrictions imposed on the activity of strike pickets constitute a violation of the Charter in Belgium

[08/02/2012] The decision on the merits taken by the European Committee of Social Rights with regard to the  complaint European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), Centrale Générale des Syndicats Libéraux de Belgique (CGSLB), Confédération des Syndicats chrétiens de Belgique (CSC) and Fédération Générale du Travail de Belgique (FGTB) v. Belgium (Complaint no. 59/2009) became public today.

The complaint relates to judicial intervention in social conflicts in Belgium, in particular concerning restrictions imposed on the activity of strike pickets. In its complaint, the complainant organisations allege that the situation in Belgium is not in conformity with the rights laid down in Article 6§4 (right to strike) of the Social Charter. They claim that judicial intervention in social conflicts in Belgium, in particular concerning restrictions imposed on the activity of strike pickets, are in violation of this provision.

In its decision on the merits the Committee considers that Belgian law does not provide guarantees for employees participating in a lawful strike within the meaning of Article 6§4 of the Revised Charter.

It concluded by 8 votes against 4 that the restrictions on the right to strike constitute a violation of Article 6§4 on the ground that they do not fall within the scope of Article G, as they are neither prescribed by law nor in keeping with what is necessary to pursue one of the aims set out in Article G of the Social Charter.

Summary of Complaint No. 59/2009
Decision on the merits