Convention (No. 135) concerning Protection and Facilities to be Afforded to Workers' Representatives in the Undertaking

Done at: Geneva

Date enacted: 1971-06-23

In force: 1973-06-30

The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation,

Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its Fifty-sixth Session on 2 June 1971, and

Noting the terms of the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949, which provides for protection of workers against acts of anti-union discrimination in respect of their employment and

Considering that it is desirable to supplement these terms with respect to workers' representatives, and

Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to protection and facilities afforded to workers' representatives in the undertaking, which is the fifth item on the agenda of the session, and

Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of an international Convention,

Adopts the twenty-third day of June of the year one thousand nine hundred and seventy-one, the following Convention, which may be cited as the Workers' Representatives Convention, 1971:

Article 1

Workers' representatives in the undertaking shall enjoy effective protection against any act prejudicial to them, including dismissal, based on their status or activities as a workers' representative or on union membership or participation in union activities, in so far as they act in conformity with existing laws or collective agreements or other jointly agreed arrangements.

Article 2


Such facilities in the undertaking shall be afforded to workers' representatives as may be appropriate in order to enable them to carry out their functions promptly and efficiently.


In this connection account shall be taken of the characteristics of the industrial relations system of the country and the needs size and capabilities of the undertaking concerned.


The granting of such facilities shall not impair the efficient operation of the undertaking concerned.

Article 3

For the purpose of this Convention the term workers' representatives means persons who are recognised as such under national law or practice, whether they are--


trade union representatives, namely, representatives designated or elected by trade unions or by members of such unions; or


elected representatives, namely, representatives who are freely elected by the workers of the undertaking in accordance with provisions of national laws or regulations or of collective agreements and whose functions do not include activities which are recognised as the exclusive prerogative of trade unions in the country concerned.

Article 4

National laws or regulations, collective agreements, arbitration awards or court decisions may determine the type or types of workers' representatives which shall be entitled to the protection and facilities provided for in this Convention.

Article 5

Where there exist in the same undertaking both trade union representatives and elected representatives, appropriate measures shall be taken, wherever necessary, to ensure that the existence of elected representatives is not used to undermine the position of the trade unions concerned or their representatives and to encourage co-operation on all relevant matters between the elected representatives and the trade unions concerned and their representatives.

Article 6

Effect may be given to this Convention through national laws or regulations or collective agreements, or in any other manner consistent with national practice.

Article 7

The formal ratifications of this Convention shall be communicated to the Director-General of the International Labour Office for registration.

Article 8


This Convention shall be binding only upon those Members of the International Labour Organisation whose ratifications have been registered with the Director-General.


It shall come into force twelve months after the date on which the ratifications of two Members have been registered with the Director-General.


Thereafter, this Convention shall come into force for any Member twelve months after the date on which its ratifications has been registered.

Article 9


A Member which has ratified this Convention may denounce it after the expiration of ten years from the date on which the Convention first comes into force, by an Act communicated to the Director-General of the International Labour Office for registration. Such denunciation should not take effect until one year after the date on which it is registered.


Each Member which has ratified this Convention and which does not, within the year following the expiration of the period of ten years mentioned in the preceding paragraph, exercise the right of denunciation provided for in this Article, will be bound for another period of ten years and, thereafter, may denounce this Convention at the expiration of each period of ten years under the terms provided for in this Article.

Article 10


The Director-General of the International Labour Office shall notify all Members of the International Labour Organisation of the registration of all ratifications and denunciations communicated to him by the Members of the Organisation.


When notifying the Members of the Organisation of the registration of the second ratification communicated to him, the Director-General shall draw the attention of the Members of the Organisation to the date upon which the Convention will come into force.

Article 11

The Director-General of the International Labour Office shall communicate to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for registration in accordance with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations full particulars of all ratifications and acts of denunciation registered by him in accordance with the provisions of the preceding Articles.

Article 12

At such times as may consider necessary the Governing Body of the International Labour Office shall present to the General Conference a report on the working of this Convention and shall examine the desirability of placing on the agenda of the Conference the question of its revision in whole or in part.

Article 13


Should the Conference adopt a new Convention revising this Convention in whole or in part, then, unless the new Convention otherwise provides:


the ratification by a Member of the new revising Convention shall ipso jure involve the immediate denunciation of this Convention notwithstanding the provisions of Article 9 above, if and when the new revising Convention shall have come into force;


as from the date when the new revising Convention comes into force this Convention shall cease to be open to ratification by the Members.


This Convention shall in any case remain in force in its actual form and content for those Members which have ratified it but have not ratified the revising Convention.

Article 14

The English and French versions of the text of this Convention are equally authoritative.

Ratifications as of May 2016

Number of ratifications: 85

Albania, Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Chile, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Dominica, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Greece, Guinea, Guyana, Hungary, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea (Republic of), Latvia, Lesotho, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Niger, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.