Top German court upholds ban on strikes by civil servants

Germany's highest court has upheld a ban on strikes by civil servants, throwing out a complaint by teachers who were disciplined for taking part in walkouts.

The country's roughly 1.85 million civil servants enjoy privileges such as favorable health insurance conditions and unusually strong job security, but they are not allowed to strike. Roughly three-quarters of the 800,000 teachers in Germany have civil servant status.

The Federal Constitutional Court ruled Tuesday that the strike ban is in line with both Germany's constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.

It said in its ruling that allowing civil servants in individual professions to strike would risk setting off a "chain reaction" that could raise far wider questions over their status.