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ILO Standards and Principles on Labour Disputes Settlement Alain Pelce Senior International Labour Standards Specialist ILO Office in Moscow Relevant Sources of International Labour Law International Labour Standards Conventions or Recommendations Tripartite adoption Universality, flexibility, normative content Practice of the supervisory bodies Comments of the Committee of Experts Conclusions of the Conference Committee on Application of Standards Decisions of the Committee on Freedom of Association Industrial Disputes Settlement: The Voluntary Conciliation and Arbitration Recommendation, 1951 (No. 92) Voluntary Conciliation machinery: Purpose: prevention and settlement of industrial disputes Voluntary, free of charge, expeditious Equal representation of workers and employers Parties encouraged to abstain from strikes or lockouts during the process Agreement reached equivalent to usual agreement Voluntary Arbitration If dispute submitted for final settlement with the consent of all the parties they should abstain from strikes and lockouts BUT does not limit the right to strike Industrial Disputes Settlement: The Collective Bargaining Convention, 1981 (No. 154) Bodies and procedures for the settlement of labour disputes should be so conceived as to contribute to the promotion of collective bargaining Conciliation and/or arbitration can be part of bargaining process provided they are voluntary Recommendation No. 163 adds that measures should be taken to create procedures to assist the parties in finding themselves solutions to disputes relating to negotiation, interpretation and application of agreements Industrial Disputes Settlement: The Labour Relations (Public Service) Convention, 1978 (No. 151) Settlement of disputes related to determination of terms and conditions of employment through: negotiation between the parties, or independent and impartial machinery (mediation, conciliation or arbitration) enjoying the confidence of the parties Similar provisions in the Nursing Personnel Convention, 1977 (No. 149) Industrial Disputes Settlement: Roles of Labour Administration and Labour Inspection Competent bodies within the labour administration should provide conciliation and mediation facilities in case of collective disputes Labour Administration Recommendation, 1978 (No. 158) BUT Not for labour inspectors to act as conciliators or arbitrators Labour Inspection Recommendation, 1947 (No. 81) and Labour Inspection (Agriculture) Recommendation, 1969 (No. 133) Industrial Disputes Settlement: Relevant Standards and Principles on Freedom of Association Two basic principles: Right to strike As implied by the Freedom of Association and the Right to Collective Bargaining Convention, 1948 (No. 87) Promotion of voluntary collective bargaining As provided by the Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98) Industrial Disputes Settlement: Relevant Standards and Principles on Freedom of Association Requirement of prior exhaustion of conciliation, mediation or voluntary arbitration procedure is an acceptable condition to the exercise of the right to strike However, machinery must genuinely facilitate bargaining, and not be so complex or slow that it would make lawful strike impossible Industrial Disputes Settlement: Relevant Standards and Principles on Freedom of Association Imposition of compulsory arbitration is acceptable only where the right to strike can legitimately be restricted: In the event of acute crisis, for a limited period of time In the public service, only for public servants exercising authority in the name of the State In essential services, whose interruption would endanger the life, safety or health of the population Industrial Disputes Settlement: Relevant Standards and Principles on Freedom of Association Where legitimate restrictions to the right to strike can be imposed, they should be accompanied by compensatory guarantees including conciliation and arbitration procedures that are: Adequate Impartial Speedy Enjoying the confidence of the parties Settlement of Disputes of Rights: The Examination of Grievances Recommendation, 1967 (No. 130) Encourages the establishment of a grievance procedure at the level of the undertaking as a first step before resorting to other procedures, such as courts or arbitration Applies to rights disputes, not to collective claims aimed at modifying terms and conditions of employment Procedure should be simple and rapid, minimize formalities, ensure the right of the worker to participate, to be assisted or represented Protection against retaliation Grievance prevention Adjustment of unsettled grievances through voluntary procedures, conciliation, arbitration, labour courts Concluding Remarks In spite of its importance for industrial relations, disputes settlement covered only by few instruments Do not prescribe specific models Linked to issues that remain controversial, such as strikes or lockouts Prospects for a new instrument ?