It is one of the most important right the workers have and it’s the last resort for workers to get the justice. This is a statutory right given to the workers of India under the section 22(1) of the industrial disputes act, 1957. This section says that in case of breach of contract or if the sentiments of workers are hurt, they can go on strike with the prior notice of 6 weeks of such strike. The right to strike helps the workers for proper wages, salaries and proper working environment.
Section 22(1)(a) provides various condition to be satisfied before going on strike. The supreme court said that workers have a right to go on peaceful strike and their demands should be reasonable and legitimate. Justice Krishnan Iyer & PN Bhagwati said that the strike can be legal or illegal one and sometimes illegal strikes are justified.
India still didn’t provide it as a fundamental right to workers. Indian judiciary have considered the right to strike both legal and statutory right. It was made statutory right under section 22 of industrial disputes act ,1947. Article 19(10)(C) of the constitution gives right to form association and trade unions.
International Labour Organization:
ILO mandates that right to organize and collective bargaining shall be given to the employees. Although, there are no express provisions on the right to strike. But ILO committee experts has said this is an important right. India has implemented almost all the provisions of this committee but not the right to strike.
Universal declaration of human rights,1948 provides for the protection of worker’s interest. They have the right to form associations and trade unions. Right to strike is their constitutional privilege to forma association and trade unions. International committee of economic, social, and cultural rights, 1966 also provides for the right to strike with the condition that it is according to the guidelines of law of member of states.
Even in US, the national labor relations act, 1935 provides the right to strike to bargain and gave the right to workers to demand better wages and working environment, health and hygiene. The US supreme court held that this right was introduced under the 14th amendment of US constitution. Article 253 which give power to the parliament to ratify the international conventions, treaties etc. India has even ratified an obligation to accept international law regarding workers but it has still failed to recognize the right to strike as fundamental right.
Article 51(c) of the constitution states that state shall have respect for international law and treaties and article 253 of the constitution states that such international laws and treaties should be ratified by the Indian parliament. All the international laws and conventions such as ILO and universal declaration of human rights, 1948 has adopted its very basic structure the right to strike. The right to form association and to form trade unions have no meaning if right to strike is not made a fundamental right.
In large democratic society like India with a huge number of economic transaction and well-developed industrial sector, it is very much important to make laws for the wellbeing and welfare of people according to article 38 of the constitution of India. Article 19(1)(C) may also be able to provide them the right to form association and trade unions, but it is not enough. Considering the increase of industries, employer domination, minimum wage issues. It is therefore important to make this as a fundamental right under article 19(1)(C).