App No: 68959/01
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Region: Africa
Year: 2009
Court: European Human Rights Court

Enerji Yapı-Yol Sen is a union of civil servants which had been registered in 1992 and was the umbrella body for the workers in the fields of land registration, energy, infrastructure services and motorway construction.

In April 1996, the prime ministers public staff directorate issued a directive prohibiting all public service workers from taking part in a one day strike which had been organized by the Federation of Public Sector unions in a bid to secure the right to a collective bargaining agreement.

Some board members of the union who took part in the strike on 18ty April 1996 received disciplinary sanctions.

Enerji-Yapi Yol Sen raised appeals against the decision to punish the staff who had taken part in the strike but the appeals were thrown out and the courts stated that the aim of the circular issued by the Prime ministers public service directorate staff were meant to remind them of the national legislation governing strikes.

Enerji Yapi-Yol Sen brought the application before the court on 1st September 2000 claiming that Turkish government authorities had violated their right to trade union freedom.

The court stated that the affected union had been affected by the circular. The court applied the principles set out in Demir v Bykara the court took into account elements of international law drawn from other sources other than European Convention on Human rights. The court stated that a strike enabled a union to make its voice heard and was an important factor in in enabling trade union members protect their interests referring to international Labour Organsitaion Convention(ILO) 87 and that the convention had had recognized the right to strike could not be dissociated from the right to freedom of association.

The court interpreted Article 11 of the convention with the above mentioned principles in mind .It stated that though the right to strike could be limited, it could not be extended to civil servants in general.