A strike is a planned collective action by workers due to a labour dispute in which working time is lost. It can include complete work stoppages, sit-ins, go-slows and overtime bans.
Workers have the fundamental right to strike. Strikes should be carried out in a legal, orderly and peaceful fashion, only as a last resort if negotiations fail, which occurs when:
unions have requested the employer to negotiate twice in writing within a 14 day period, and the employer was unwilling to do so, or
the parties reach a deadlock in negotiations, and this is declared by both parties in the negotiation minutes.
The parties may be required to engage in compulsory alternative dispute resolution procedures prior to striking.
Workers must provide at least seven days written notice to the employer and local manpower office stating the starting and ending time for the strike, the location, and the reasons for the strike. The notice should be signed by the chairperson and secretary of the union(s) organizing the strike, or by worker representatives if there is no union involved.
With the exception of essential services, employers should not hire workers to replace those on strike (garment production is not considered an essential service based on the Freedom of Association Committee of the ILO Governing Body).
Unless they engaged in serious misconduct or serious acts, employers should not punish those who participate in strikes. They must not deduct more wages than those corresponding to the days lost during a strike, terminate workers, fail to renew workers’ work agreements, reduce benefits or seniority, or impose heavier workloads.
Peaceful strikes should not be broken up by security forces or the police.