I.

INTRODUCTION

1. On September 7, 2000, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the Inter-American
Commission,” “the Commission,” or “the IACHR”) received a petition filed by the Human Rights Legal Action
Center (Centro para Acción Legal en Derechos Humanos—CALDH) (hereinafter “the petitioners”) alleging the
international responsibility of the Republic of Guatemala (hereinafter “the state,” “the Guatemalan state,” or
“Guatemala”) to the detriment of the former employees of the Judiciary for alleged dismissal because they
exercised their right to strike.

2. The Commission approved admissibility report No. 78/03 of October 22, 2003. 1 On October 27, 2003, the
Commission notified said report to the parties and indicated it was available to reach a friendly solution, but
the conditions to initiate said proceeding were not met. The parties benefited from the regulatory delays to
submit their additional observations on the merits. All the information that was received was duly forwarded
to both parties.
II. POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES
A. Petitioners
3. The petitioners indicated that, in August 1992, the Judiciary Workers Union (Sindicato de Trabajadores del
Organismo Judicial—STOJ) (hereinafter the “STOJ” or “the Union”) and the Judiciary (Organismo Judicial,
hereinafter “the OJ”) signed a Collective Working Conditions Agreement. They indicated that the two-year
agreement came into force in November 1992. They stated that, after this period had elapsed, on October 18,
1994, the petitioners denounced the above-mentioned agreement to the General Labor Inspectorate for the
purpose of negotiating a new working instrument.

4. They argued that after unproductive bargaining with the Judiciary to agree on a new collective agreement,
according to the law, it filed an “economic and social dispute” with the First Chamber of the Labor and Social
Welfare Appeals Court, which takes over when the parties have not reached an agreement on the terms of the
collective working conditions agreement and is aimed at discussing the case directly, setting a time-limit of 30
days for bargaining. On November 21, 1994, said Court ruled that the petition was admissible. In addition, the
petitioners subsequently indicated that the Judiciary, represented by the Office of the Attorney General of the
Nation, filed various challenges for the purpose of preventing the collective dispute from being pursued.

5. They pointed out that, on November 28, 1995, the First Chamber of the Labor and Social Welfare Appeals
Court ruled that direct proceedings had been exhausted and, therefore, on December 12, 1995, a Court of
Conciliation was established, a procedure required by law when direct recourse is unsuccessful. They indicated
that, on February 14, 1996, the Court of Conciliation made recommendations to the parties, suggesting certain
modifications to the new draft of the proposed agreement.
6. They indicated that, on February 15, 1996, the Court ruled that the conciliation proceeding had concluded,
because the parties had failed to agree to follow the recommendations from the proposals made by said court.

7. They argued that, on February 16, 1886, the Union submitted a brief to the First Chamber of the Labor and
Social Welfare Appeals Court so that the General Labor Inspectorate would proceed to ascertain, by counting,
if the employees who started the labor dispute accounted for at least two thirds of the Judiciary in order to
declare that the strike was lawful as required by the Labor Code.
8. They pointed out that subsequently the Judiciary filed a brief indicating that the only way to settle the
dispute was by means of arbitration.

IACHR. Report No. 78/03. Petition 0453/00. Former Employees of the Judiciary, Guatemala. October 22, 2003. In this report the
Commission declared that the petition was admissible in connection with Articles 8, 16, 24, 25, 1(1), and 2 of the American Convention.

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