Strike of March 7 against the pension reform: what rights for civil servants and employees?

Strike of March 7 against the pension reform: what rights for civil servants and employees?

The sixth day of mobilization against the pension reform will it involve a large number of private sector employees? The unions have called for “putting France on hold” from this Tuesday, March 7, counting on massive strikes and even renewable in all sectors.

But what are the rules for those who might be tempted to take part in the protest movement? If the right to strike is enshrined in the Constitution and also protects all employees who choose to exercise it, it is much more framed in the public sector than in the private sector, where the rules are not quite the same.

Notice or sanctions

“Public employees have the obligation to file a notice”, recalls Anne-Lise Castell, jurist at Tissot editions. “They must send this written intention to the hierarchical authority or the management of the administration concerned at least five days before the start of the strike, failing sanctions”.

An action that they must sometimes renew in the days that follow. If they decide to actually strike, after indicating their intention, teachers, for example, must refer to their authority at least 48 hours before.

No notice period in private

In the private sector, on the other hand, no notice period is necessary. In other words, employees do not have to inform their employer of their plan. “They can decide to mobilize the day before for the next day if they wish”, continues Anne-Lise Castell, who however mentions two exceptions to this principle.

” In the air Transport, employees whose absence is likely to directly affect the performance of flights, such as pilots, must give notice no later than 48 hours in advance. And the staff of private companies responsible for managing a public service, such as the SNCF or the motorway companies, must also send a notice, at least five days before”.

In principle, an employee cannot go on strike if he is the only protester within his company. “You need at least two people”, specifies the lawyer, to exercise this right based on professional claims. “But by exception, an employee interrupting work alone to obey a national strike order remains protected,” she adds.

Employees who decide to stop work on Tuesday to mark their opposition to the pension reform could therefore not be sanctioned, unless they have not respected the notice imposed in the public sector.

No time limit

What happens in private, if the employer questions its employees on their willingness to respond to the strike call launched at national level? This question can be legitimate to anticipate the presence of staff and ensure the continuity of the service delivered by the company. But nothing obliges the employee to answer it. “The employee has the right to reserve his answer”, answers Maître Dahlia Arfi-Elkaïm, associate lawyer in charge of the social pole at the JDB lawyers firm in Paris.

On D-Day, on the other hand, it is impossible to escape. “Employees are obliged to position themselves as strikers and to make their demands known at the time of the work stoppage. Otherwise, they would find themselves in a situation of unjustified absence”, analyzes Anne-Lise Castell. The Labor Code does not impose any formalism for this declaration. “It can be written, oral, be done between two doors, even if the first option is by far preferable,” says Anne-Lise Castell.

The strike declaration has no time limit, it can be repeated. “It can last an hour, a day or several weeks. On the other hand, go-slows, which induce a slowdown or sabotage of work, and work-to-rule, which consist of saying: I’m here all day but I only do half my jobremain prohibited.

This rule also applies to the public sector. With the difference that there, some agents may be required to provide a minimum service: this is the case, for example, for the public hospital service or in national education.

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