This article examines disputes regarding the connection between freedom of association and the right to strike, occurring at multiple levels, within international, regional and national legal orders. It focuses on the period from 2007 to 2019, when a challenge was made to norms longestablished at the International Labour Organization (ILO) that was subsequently continued in European and national court proceedings. These events raised the potential for normative fragmentation and conflict between legal systems. This article interrogates the roles played by two key actors in these processes: the International Organization of Employers (IOE) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). Drawing on sociological insights into collective action offered by Offe and Wiesenthal, transposed to the transnational level, an analysis is offered of the power dynamics that motivated IOE attempts to alter the content and influence of ILO norms, alongside the scope for ITUC resistance, given its resources.