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Liability in Collective Labor Relations

11/05/2020

Matías Pérez del Castillo’s last publication, with Pedro Gari’s collaboration, proposes the study of a controversial yet necessary topic.

Traditionally, businesses and trade unions in Uruguay have opted for resolving their labor differences aloof from the law courts, promoting the autonomous characteristic of the solution model of collective labor conflicts. In practice, they tend to avoid the intervention of third parties in settling these conflicts. In those cases in which mediation and conciliation result unsuccessful, the resolution of collective conflicts is not usually submitted to impartial third parties and ends up favoring the strongest part and not the one who is right and backed by the law. As a consequence, avoidable and disproportional damages are generated by the motivation of the conflict, and it is infrequent that those who breach norms and agreements, or promote illegitimate collective measures end up being accountable for their actions.

Those injured by illegitimate collective labor measures should accept the consequences notwithstanding the violated norms and the damages caused by those who perform them? Is the trade union activity (both by companies and workers) immune to the strict application of liability regimes?

The work aims to answer these questions, in six chapters. In the first one, it characterizes the national system of collective labor relations, identifying shortfalls and proposing remedies to palliate them. In the second chapter, it analyzes the regulation of the collective rights of social actors (we included individual rights that can be exercised collectively, such as strikes) and it indicates the limits to these rights. It also refers to illegitimate collective measures and the competent bodies to intervene them. In the third chapter, it proposes legal grounds to assert liability actions and introduces the civil liability regime, justifying its application in collective labor relations. In chapter four, it develops cases of contractual liability in collective labor relations. In the fifth one, cases of non-contractual liability. In chapter 6, it analyzes the possible liability of trade unions in line with commercial regulations.

From a substantial point of view, the study is centered in the private sector, founded in national regulations, jurisprudence and doctrine, without prejudice of references to compared doctrine jurisprudence and legislation. The study is important due to the rights that illegitimate collective measures violate and the economic and moral damages caused to those who, because of their activities, are directly or indirectly related to social actors from the collective labor relations.

The book was published by Fundacion de Cultura Universitaria (FCU). For more information: https://bit.ly/3dCJMXE

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