Unite Hit Back20 May 2010
The Times reports that Unite’s appeal against the High Court injunction earlier this week has been successful. The Unite union said that the strikes could begin as early as next week.
Derek Simpson, Unite’s joint general secretary, said: “It strikes at the argument that minor technicalities can set aside ballots like this one which were overwhelmingly supported and democratically conducted by our union members.”
As we reported earlier this week, the case hinges on section 231 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 states:
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 case centred on section 231 of the 1992 Trade Union and Labour Relations Act which states that after a ballot a union must notify all members as soon as is reasonably practicable of four pieces of information: the number of votes cast, the number of ‘yes’ votes, the number of ‘no’ votes and the number of spoilt ballots.
he union must therefore show that it has done everything that is “reasonably necessary” to make sure that members get the appropriate information.
However following the recent ballot the union failed to give the four pieces of information laid out in the Act. On Monday, Mr Justice McCombe, granted an injunction blocking the strike on those grounds.
Today, the Court of Appeal overturned his ruling and found that by posting full results on its website, on notice boards at Heathrow and Gatwick airports and in a newsletter the union had complied with its duties.
The remaining walk outs are planned for May 24-28, May 30-June 3 and June 5-9. The last strike is set to end days before the start of the World Cup in South Africa.