This article focuses on one of the few cases brought to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) by a French trade union, the Confédération générale du travail (CGT). This case study analyzes the conditions for the CGT of using EU law and justice, and its effects on the cause defended by the trade union. For this purpose, the demonstration relies both on different documents of the case (the case’s statements, magistrates’ reports, pleas, judgments) and on interviews conducted with the protagonists of the affair (trade union activists and lawyers, the government’s agent, the attorneys, academics). Thus, we show that the gradual mobilization of European law by trade union actors is made possible thanks to several intermediaries (lawyers, academics, magistrates) across different jurisdictions (Tribunal d’instance, Conseil constitutionnel, Cour de cassation, ECJ). This mobilization of EU law and justice implies a redefinition of the cause defended by the trade union. Indeed, from the perspective of defending a worker and the challenging of a piece of French labor legislation, the main issue for the CGT ultimately becomes the definition of the EU Charter of fundamental rights.
Justice at Work
The “AMS v. CGT” Case: The Use of Justice and the Europeanization of a Trade Union ConflictBy Julien Louis