Talkin’ Bout A Revolution.

11 Apr 2011

Fidel Castro once said "a revolution is not a bed of roses", and he should know.  In fact, turn on any television or radio or flick through a newspaper, whether online or on paper, and it is impossible to avoid news of revolutions which are far away from any such flowery sleep apparatus.

In this country we have, in recent days, seen the demonstrations in London against the public sector cuts, as well as the announcement that the union members of BA have voted "overwhelmingly" in favour of strike action, likely to take place around Easter.


Irrespective of your own political or personal views on the effect of strikes, it seems as though the current age of austerity will continue to spark industrial discontent and increase union activism.


With this mind, the Court of Appeal has handed down Judgment in the case of NURMT v Serco & Ors in which the Court applied a very practical reading of the legislation governing strikes and, in particular, the balloting requirements with which unions must comply before a strike can take place.


In a large number of cases, employers are able to obtain injunctions preventing strikes from going ahead, on the basis that the unions have failed to comply with some of the more obscure requirements in relation to balloting its members.


In giving the leading Judgment, Lord Justice Elias, refused to interpret the statutory requirements in a way which would "set traps or hurdles for the union which have no legitimate purpose or function."


The upshot of this case is that employers may well find it more difficult to obtain interim injunctions, leading to more strikes taking place.