Peace obligation is a term from German collective bargaining law and from works constitution law . Accordingly, the parties to the collective bargaining agreement ( trade unions and employers [association]) or the works parties ( works council, employer) are always obliged to refrain from fighting measures ( strikes , lockouts ) at certain times .
The parties to the collective bargaining agreement can agree on an absolute peace obligation and thus waive any combat measures during the agreed period, including those aimed at goals not previously regulated by the collective bargaining agreement. The absolute duty of peace is rather rare in Germany. It must have been expressly agreed between the parties to the collective bargaining agreement.
In general, there is a relative peace obligation with ongoing collective agreements : this relative peace obligation - in contrast to the absolute peace obligation - only prohibits a labor dispute that is directed against the existence of the collective agreement or against some of its provisions. On the other hand, strikes may take place because of issues that are not regulated by collective agreements. The (relative) peace obligation is immanent in the collective agreement as a peace order and belongs to the contractual part of the collective agreement. The duty of peace is intended to protect the members of the collective bargaining parties from being covered with industrial action with regard to the subject matter regulated by the collective bargaining agreement. It is controversial whether the peace obligation also relates to strike votes and other measures to prepare for a labor dispute.
The peace obligation ends with the expiry of the agreed term of the collective agreement or with the expiry of the notice period. Negotiations between the parties to the collective bargaining agreement on a specific tariff requirement do not establish any peace obligation related to the subject matter. However, a strike can be disproportionate while negotiations are still ongoing or during an arbitration process .
A permanent and absolute peace obligation applies between the employer and the works council (Section 74 II 2 of the Works Constitution Act ).