Armed forces personnel and the 'right to strike'

map of 47 Council of Europe membersIn our 2011 article Armed Forces Trade Unions? we said, firstly, that based on many surveys and our own consultations with serving personnel, we did not consider that traditional trade union status was the appropriate format for an armed forces representative body. Secondly that in any case, armed forces representative bodies in other advanced countries don't go on strike, and this includes those which are registered trade unions.

Might this be about to change in at least some European countries? BAFF has learned that the Council of Europe has published (7 June 2019) a puzzling and unhelpful decision by its European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) in a case brought against Italy relating to members of the Guardia di Finanza, a law enforcement agency which is "militarised" but does not come under the country's Ministry of Defence.

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