The right to strike in private companies

WHAT is a strike?

A complete work stoppage…
Partial stoppage or slowdown at work is not legally recognized as a strike.

…collective and coordinated…
For a strike to be legal, at least 2 salaried workers must take part in it. The only exceptions are if the employee is the company’s sole employee, or if they are responding to a national call to strike (like many of the STJV’s).

…to make work-related demands.
These demands encompass salaries, working conditions, jobs protection…

If any of those 3 conditions is not met, the strike is considered illegal and salaried workers taking part in it are not protected by their right to strike.

WHO can go on strike?

It is a protected right granted to every salaried worker in the private sector. There is no requirement that a majority or the entirety of the company’s workers participate in the strike.

HOW does one go on strike?

Salaried workers can go on strike at any time, without notice. All you have to do is not come to work on the day(s) of the strike. The only requirement is that your employer must know about the strike demands before you stop working: when joining a national call to strike from representative unions, that is already taken care of.

Do I have to warn my employer beforehand? No.
In the private sector, that is not required. However, if asked about the reason of your absence once you go back to work, you have to answer truthfully. You may of course tell your leads / managers in advance to avoid frictions.

The right to strike is constitutionally protected, so for example the existence of a deadline is not a valid reason to forbid a strike.

Do I have to use my vacation days? No.

Will I be paid? No.
A salaried worker on strike is not paid over the duration of the strike. The substraction to your salary has to match the time during which you didn’t work.

What are the RISKS?

The right to strike protects salaried workers who exercise it:

  • A salaried worker cannot be fired due to having taken part in a strike
  • A salaried worker cannot be discriminated against due to having been on strike

If an employer fires an employee based on their participation to a strike, the dismissal will be null and voided. They can be reinstated if they so wish, and be compensated.

The only cases where a salaried worker could be fired would be:

  • if they blocked other employees from working or otherwise actively prevented the company from operating
  • if they sequestered or were violent against other persons or others’ property.
Comptes - Le Syndicat des Travailleurs et Travailleuses du Jeu Vidéo
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