The ILO convened a tripartite expert meeting in April 2011 to discuss obstacles to the ratification of Convention No. 158 on termination of employment. This is the most important international treaty on basic principles for the protection of workers against unjustified dismissal and on basic rights in the case of the termination of employment. At the end of the meeting, the employers suggested a simple but totally unacceptable and even unpredictable ‘solution’: abrogating the Convention.
This incredible demand has to be put into context. It should in particular be clarified whether it reflects the general opinion of employers. An analysis shows that they display a remarkable inconsistency in their approach to this Convention. At the time of adoption, in 1982, the employers’ spokesperson had thrown his weight behind the Convention: “[S]ome employers will abstain or vote against the adoption of the instruments, in particular of the Convention [...]; I nevertheless hope that a great majority will come out in favour of adopting the proposed Convention and Recommendation.” (ILC 68th Session, 1982, Record of Proceedings p. 35/3).