CONGRESS MAKES COLLECTIVE BARGAINING COMPLAINT TO COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS, SUPREME COURT RULING 'FLAWED' SAYS LEGAL EXPERT

6 Feb 2014

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has made a formal complaint to the European Court of Human Rights on the state’s failure to uphold an effective right to collective bargaining, in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The complaint was lodged in the name of Congress and the Technical, Engineering & Electrical Union (TEEU) and was prepared by John Hendy QC.

In a January 30 lecture in Dublin, Mr Hendy detailed "major flaws" in the 2013 Supreme Court ruling in McGowan, which resulted in “tens of thousands of workers being denied the effective right to collective bargaining, which is an essential element of Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.” (The full lecture can be viewed above). 

“The 2013 ruling struck down an important collective bargaining mechanism which had been in force for over 70 years. Its effect has been devastating for the Irish workers concerned, it is bad for the Irish economy and it has placed Ireland in breach of international law. Furthermore the judgment contains a number of major flaws,” Mr Hendy said.

The full text of Mr Hendy's lecture on the McGowan judgement and the impact on Registered Employment Agreements and sectoral collective bargaining is available to download (PDF).