Trade union soap opera - Plataforma Media

Trade union soap opera

Guilherme RegoThe final report of the public consultation regarding the Trade Union Law was released this week.

At the time of the public consultation period, several were those who raised what seemed to be the central question: what about the right to strike? Because in the document, there was no mention. With the final report, this question was answered by the Executive, saying that the right to strike is already enshrined in the Basic Law of Macau. But also that, under article 10 of the “Law on labor relations”, it is forbidden for the employer to oppose the worker exercising his rights. For these reasons, the report maintains, the exercise of the workers’ right to strike is guaranteed in the laws in force.

However, several deputies and association figures are dissatisfied with this explanation – and demand the explicit inclusion of this right in the bill. However, taking into account the answer, only an amendment to the Basic Law would jeopardize the right to strike.

It is recalled that the public consultation period began on October 31 of last year; and then the first criticisms arose.

The silence that followed, which only now has been interrupted, does not cease to cause some strangeness.

It is also important to understand that, despite the numerous previous attempts to draft this law – by the way they were always failed – the Trade Union Law represents something totally new. When it is approved by the Legislative Assembly and enters into force, the employer and labor parties will have to know it and gradually adapt to it. There will always have to be an adjustment process.

The right to strike must be protected, as it gives workers the power to negotiate with employers when they are intransigent.

Without this possibility, the balance will always tip towards the employer, and weaken the very law that aims to defend union rights. The Executive also shows concern in this field with national security and foreign forces that may interfere in the interests of the State here. But this issue must not jeopardize the balance between unions and employers, where the right to strike plays a fundamental role. In fact, enshrined in the Basic Law. Another thing to keep in mind is timing. The Covid-19 pandemic has multiplied situations in which this law would be useful. It is therefore required that it enter into force as soon as possible, to minimize future injustices.

*Executive Director of PLATAFORMA

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