© Associated Train Crew Union.
ATCU, an accountable and democratic independent Union founded to address the issues affecting all our colleagues and to meet the aspirations of all those working in the rail industry.
Break the chains of slavery and let your voice be your freedom
In Belgium there is no guarantee of the right to strike built into the constitution, neither directly nor indirectly. That right is guaranteed, however, by caselaw developed by the courts in each country.
There are no legally set procedures which must be followed in preparing strike action. Instead, procedures are established by mutual agreement between unions and employers. Such procedures generally contain the requirement that efforts at arbitration and conciliation must be exhausted before strike action commences.
(But this does not apply to police strikes. Belgian police can strike only if the strike has previously been announced by a recognised trade union and if a negotiations committee has attempted to resolve the issue which has triggered the strike.)
Belgian trade unions do not have a “legal personality”. This means that they cannot be taken to court for, say, organising strike action in breach of a collective agreement. But, in theory at least, individual trade union members could be dismissed or sued for damages where strike action occurs in breach of a collective agreement.