On April 1 2008 trade union Unia organised various strikes throughout Switzerland in order to support negotiations for a new nationwide collective bargaining agreement for construction workers. In an interim decision, the Civil Chamber of the Zurich Supreme Court held that demonstrations which took place in front of the premises of two businesses in Zurich were illegal, on the grounds that the businesses in front of which the demonstrations took place were not signatories of the existing collective bargaining agreement, and that therefore the demonstrations could have had no influence on the ongoing negotiations.

The businesses in question argued that the demonstrations had caused certain deliveries to be delayed, resulting in losses of about Sfr100,000. Unia denied that the demonstrations had blocked traffic. Ultimately, the court did not order Unia to pay damages due to a lack of proof that the demonstrations had caused the alleged losses.

For further information on this topic please contact Thomas Rihm at Thouvenin Rechtsanwälte by telephone (+41 44 421 45 45) fax (+41 44 421 45 00) or email ([email protected]).