The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation,
Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International
Labour Office, and having met in its Fifty-sixth Session on 2 June 1971,
Noting the terms of the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining
Convention, 1949, which provides for protection of workers against acts
of anti-union discrimination in respect of their employment and
Considering that it is desirable to supplement these terms with
respect to workers' representatives, and
Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard
to protection and facilities afforded to workers' representatives in the
undertaking, which is the fifth item on the agenda of the session, and
Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of an
Adopts the twenty-third day of June of the year one thousand nine
hundred and seventy-one, the following Convention, which may be cited as
the Workers' Representatives Convention, 1971:
Workers' representatives in the undertaking shall enjoy effective protection
against any act prejudicial to them, including dismissal, based on their
status or activities as a workers' representative or on union membership
or participation in union activities, in so far as they act in conformity
with existing laws or collective agreements or other jointly agreed arrangements.
1. Such facilities in the undertaking shall be afforded to workers'
representatives as may be appropriate in order to enable them to carry
out their functions promptly and efficiently.
2. In this connection account shall be taken of the characteristics of
the industrial relations system of the country and the needs size and capabilities
of the undertaking concerned.
3. The granting of such facilities shall not impair the efficient operation
of the undertaking concerned.
For the purpose of this Convention the term workers' representatives
means persons who are recognised as such under national law or practice,
whether they are--
(a) trade union representatives, namely, representatives designated
or elected by trade unions or by members of such unions; or
(b) elected representatives, namely, representatives who are freely elected
by the workers of the undertaking in accordance with provisions of national
laws or regulations or of collective agreements and whose functions do
not include activities which are recognised as the exclusive prerogative
of trade unions in the country concerned.
National laws or regulations, collective agreements, arbitration awards
or court decisions may determine the type or types of workers' representatives
which shall be entitled to the protection and facilities provided for in
Where there exist in the same undertaking both trade union representatives
and elected representatives, appropriate measures shall be taken, wherever
necessary, to ensure that the existence of elected representatives is not
used to undermine the position of the trade unions concerned or their representatives
and to encourage co-operation on all relevant matters between the elected
representatives and the trade unions concerned and their representatives.
Effect may be given to this Convention through national laws or regulations
or collective agreements, or in any other manner consistent with national
The formal ratifications of this Convention shall be communicated to
the Director-General of the International Labour Office for registration.
1. This Convention shall be binding only upon those Members of the International
Labour Organisation whose ratifications have been registered with the Director-General.
2. It shall come into force twelve months after the date on which the ratifications
of two Members have been registered with the Director-General.
3. Thereafter, this Convention shall come into force for any Member twelve
months after the date on which its ratifications has been registered.
1. A Member which has ratified this Convention may denounce it after
the expiration of ten years from the date on which the Convention first
comes into force, by an Act communicated to the Director-General of the
International Labour Office for registration. Such denunciation should
not take effect until one year after the date on which it is registered.
2. Each Member which has ratified this Convention and which does not, within
the year following the expiration of the period of ten years mentioned
in the preceding paragraph, exercise the right of denunciation provided
for in this Article, will be bound for another period of ten years and,
thereafter, may denounce this Convention at the expiration of each period
of ten years under the terms provided for in this Article.
1. The Director-General of the International Labour Office shall notify
all Members of the International Labour Organisation of the registration
of all ratifications and denunciations communicated to him by the Members
of the Organisation.
2. When notifying the Members of the Organisation of the registration of
the second ratification communicated to him, the Director-General shall
draw the attention of the Members of the Organisation to the date upon
which the Convention will come into force.
The Director-General of the International Labour Office shall communicate
to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for registration in accordance
with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations full particulars
of all ratifications and acts of denunciation registered by him in accordance
with the provisions of the preceding Articles.
At such times as may consider necessary the Governing Body of the International
Labour Office shall present to the General Conference a report on the working
of this Convention and shall examine the desirability of placing on the
agenda of the Conference the question of its revision in whole or in part.
1. Should the Conference adopt a new Convention revising this Convention
in whole or in part, then, unless the new Convention otherwise provides:
a) the ratification by a Member of the new revising Convention shall
ipso jure involve the immediate denunciation of this Convention notwithstanding
the provisions of Article 9 above, if and when the new revising Convention
shall have come into force;
b) as from the date when the new revising Convention comes into force this
Convention shall cease to be open to ratification by the Members.
2. This Convention shall in any case remain in force in its actual form
and content for those Members which have ratified it but have not ratified
the revising Convention.
The English and French versions of the text of this Convention
are equally authoritative.