S.231 Saves The (Holi)day

19 May 2010

The Guardian has reported that the BA strikes due to run from 18-22 May inclusive, then from 24-28 May, 30 May-3 June and 5-9 June has been ruled unlawful. In addition Unite could be liable for compensation of at least £250,000 and that the crew who joined the March strikes could be threatened with severe disciplinary sanctions because they took part in a strike that has been ruled illegal, albeit in retrospect.

The airline won on a technical point, arguing that Unite failed to carry out its statutory duties by making sure that everyone balloted was told the result. When balloting for strikes, unions should give those who took part a detailed breakdown of the result, as required by section 231 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

s231. Information as to result of ballot

As soon as is reasonably practicable after the holding of the ballot, the trade union shall take such steps as are reasonably necessary to ensure that all persons entitled to vote in the ballot are informed of the number of-

(a) votes cast in the ballot,

(b) individuals answering “Yes” to the question, or as the case may be, to each question,

(c) individuals answering “No” to the question, or, as the case may be, to each question, and

(d) spoiled voting papers.

The union’s barrister, John Hendy QC, said the airline had not been able to find even one employee who did not know the result of the ballot, which voted overwhelmingly for strike action.