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Constitution of the Portuguese Republic


Article 54 (Workers' committies) (1) Workers have the right to establish workers' committees for the defence of their interests and to secure a democratic share in the management of their enterprise. (2) Decisions to form workers’ committees must be taken by the workers in question, who must approve the committees’ by-laws, and must elect their members by direct, secret ballot. (3) Coordinating committees may be established, for the purpose of intervening more effectively in economic reorganisation and as a safeguard for the guarantees for the interests of the workers. (4) Committee members shall enjoy the protection afforded by the law to trade union delegates. (5) Workers' committees have the right: (a) To receive all information necessary for the carrying out of their activities; (b) To monitor the management of enterprises; (c) To participate in the processes of the company restructuring, particularly as they relate to training initiatives or when there is a change in working conditions; (d) To participate in the preparation of labour legislation, and social and economic plans, that concern their sector; (e) To manage, or participate in the management of, social activities of enterprises; (f) To sponsor the election of workers' representatives to the management organs of enterprises that belong to the State or other public bodies, in accordance with the law. Article 55 (Freedoms concerning trade unions) (1) Workers are accorded the freedom to form, belong to and operate trade unions as a condition and guarantee of the building of their unity in defence of their rights and interests. (2) Trade union freedoms are guaranteed to workers without discrimination, in particular the following: (a) Freedom to establish trade unions at every level; (b) Freedom of membership, no worker being required to pay dues to a trade union of which he or she is not a member; (c) Freedom in the organisation and internal regulation of trade unions; (d) The right to engage in trade union activity within businesses; (e) The right of trade unions to different aims, as determined by their constitutions. (5) Trade unions have the right to establish relations with or to join international trade union organisations. Article 56 (Trade union rights and collective agreements) (1) Trade unions have the right to defend and promote the defence of the rights and interests of the workers they represent. (2) Trade unions have the right: (a) To participate in the preparation of labour legislation; (b) To participate in the management of social security institutions and other bodies whose aim is to satisfy the interests of the working classes; (c) To be heard with regard to economic and social plans and to accompany the implementation thereof; (d) To be represented on bodies engaged in the harmonisation of social matters, as provided by the law; (e) To participate in the processes of company restructuring, particularly as they relate to training initiatives or when there is a change in working conditions. (3) Trade unions have the powers necessary for exercising the right to conclude collective agreements, which shall be guaranteed by law. (4) The rules governing the powers to conclude collective labour agreements, and the validity of their provisions, shall be prescribed by law. Article 57 (Right to strike and prohibition of lock-outs) (1) The right to strike is guaranteed. (2) Workers are entitled to determine which interests are to be protected by means of strikes; the range of those interests shall not be restricted by law. (3) The law shall determine the conditions under which services are provided, during a strike, that are necessary for the safety and maintenance of equipment and installations, as well as minimum services that are necessary to satisfy essential social needs. (4) Lock-outs are prohibited.