On the occasion of the feminist strike on the occasion of the International Women's Day, which takes place the March 8 and seeks to achieve real equality between women and men, in this article we want to talk about the figure of strikes in the field of labor law and its legal implications.

What is a strike? What does it consist of? Where is regulated?

The right to strike, such as the "International Women's Day", is configured as a fundamental right, expressly provided for by the Spanish Constitution; In addition, we also find it foreseen in the Workers' Statute, within the labor rights generally available to workers.

Well, any strike consists of a temporary, collective and concerted suspension of the work, by the workers, as a measure of pressure in defense of their interests. It is, therefore, an instrument for the defense and protection of professional interests by suspending the provision of services by workers.

Subjects: The subjects of this right are the workers; each of them has the right to adhere or not to the calls. It is, therefore, an unavailable right of each worker, and unrenounceable, since the employer can not force the worker to resign from it.

Confrontation: We must bear in mind that, even if it is a fundamental right, striking workers are not legitimized to prevent other workers from taking part in the strike and unable to carry out their work as they usually do. So that workers who do not want to take part in the strikes called, are fully entitled not to do so.

What consequences result from the holding of strikes such as the International Women's Day?

For striking workers: It implies the suspension of the contract during the time of the duration of inactivity. This entails:

  • No perception of salary, in proportion to the time of the strike. This is not a sanctioning measure, but, when the contract is suspended, it has effects for both parties to the labor relationship: neither the worker has the obligation to provide his services nor the employer has the obligation to pay the salary.
  • No contribution to Social Security during the duration of the strike.
  • It does not count as lack of work attendance, in order to justify the objective extinction of the contract.

All these consequences have a limited duration during the duration of the strike. If the consequences are temporarily exceeded, it would be interpreted as a business sanction in retaliation for the legitimate exercise of the strike.

For employers: Their entrepreneurial powers are limited because they can not prohibit / prevent workers who take part in the strike. As entrepreneurs, they can not seek to cover the gaps left by the strikers, so they can not substitute positions through external hiring techniques (of people outside the employment relationship) or internal techniques (with functional or geographical mobility of non-strikers workers ).

About the Author:

Paula Puigmal

Labor Department