a new law to limit it?

a new law to limit it

Two bills respectively tabled by LR deputies and centrist UDI senators aim to limit the right to strike in France. An idea already defended, but put back on the table at the time of a strike at the SNCF.

The SNCF controllers’ strike planned for this weekend is the perfect opportunity for the right to draw up an almost historic bill. And the party did not delay, the president of the Les Républicains deputies, Olivier Marleix, submitted a text in the afternoon of Thursday February 15, a few hours before the start of the strike, to “prohibit strikes in the public transport before and after school holidays and public holidays. Presented in this way, the proposed law gives the impression of contravening the right to strike, but the elected representative of the right defends above all to the Parisian wanting to enforce the “principle of continuity” in public transport services which must, according to him, be “preserved as much as the right to strike”.

MP LR’s maneuver is supported by the entire party. Even the boss of the right, Eric Ciotti, invited on February 15 on TF1regretted the “permanent escalation” of the unions and particularly denounced the SNCF whose unions have struck every year since 1947, according to him, and which with each mobilization “take the French hostage”.

“Protect” holidays from the right to strike

Concretely, the proposed LR law plans to prohibit strike movements during the first two and last two days of each school vacation period, but also the day before, the next day and the same day of a public holiday. But the Republicans are not the only ones, nor the first, to want to legislate and limit the right to strike. The centrists of the UDI tabled a bill before them, on Wednesday February 14. And the centrist maneuver benefits from the support of President LR of the Senate, Gérard Larcher for whom “the strike must be the ultimate weapon” and not an “instrument of negotiation”.

The bill tabled by the head of the UDI senators’ group, Hervé Marseille, provides for determining up to 60 days per year “during which there could be no strike notice”. The senator believes that “the right to strike is not threatened, but simply overused.”

Proposed laws consistent with the Constitution?

But will the legislative proposals tabled by LR and the UDI be successful? It could be difficult to obtain a majority of votes in the National Assembly, since limiting the right to strike is not an idea defended by the left. On the far right side, the vice-president of the National Rally, Sébastien Chenu, indicated that he was not in favor of even a partial ban on the right to strike. Even in the event of adoption of the texts, the proposed laws could be censored by the Constitutional Council since the Constitution has enshrined the right to strike since 1946.

The Republicans, however, have the answer to these reservations on the constitutionality of their proposed law on the right to strike. “The preamble says that this right is exercised within the framework of the laws which regulate it. And we do not want to undermine it” assured LR deputy Olivier Marleix. The envisaged texts would therefore only add to the regulation of the right to strike, without completely preventing it.