- Collective labour law after Viking, Laval, Rüffert, and Commission v. Luxembourg
- International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations
- Volume | Issue number
- 25 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Hugo Sinzheimer Instituut (HSI)
The judgments of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the International Transport Workers’ Federation and Finnish Seamen’s Union v Viking Line ABP and OÜ Viking Line Eesti (hereinafter ‘Viking’), Laval un Partneri Ltd v Svenska Byggnadsarbetareförbundet and Others (hereinafter ‘Laval’), Dirk Rüffert, in his capacity as liquidator of the assets of Objekt und Bauregie GmbH & Co. KG v Land Niedersachsen (hereinafter ‘Rüffert’), and Commission v. Luxembourg cases have given rise to much criticism. The ECJ has given priority to free movement principles over fundamental collective labour rights. In this contribution, the author analyzes the consequences of these judgments for the collective labour law of the Member States. Some Member States will have to adapt their labour law. It must not be overlooked that the ECJ also offers support for collective labour rights. For the fi rst time, the right to bargain collectively and the right to take industrial action have been recognized as fundamental rights in EU law. Moreover, the ECJ explicitly recognizes that the protection of jobs and employment conditions of workers is an overriding reason of public interest, which can justify collective actions restricting the fundamental freedoms of the Treaty.
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