Viking Line entered into a contract with Finish Seaman’s Union (FSU) for FSU’s employees to complete extra work for Viking Line. However, the employees of FSU sought more pay in return for the extra work to be completed. On the other hand, Viking Line rejected this proposal of paying the employees higher wages. Therefore, a Trade Union (ITWF) conveyed a decision to FSU employees not to do extra work without receiving more pay from Viking Line. Nonetheless, Viking Line complained that this was unfair industrial practice.
However, was this considered as an unfair industrial practice?
Overall, in International Transport Workers’ Federation v Viking Line ABP, the court held that the only legitimate practice that could be taken by the ITWF was a strike upon a notice. Moreover, the court went onto state that although industrial action is a “fundamental right” of the EU, it must be justified and proportionate. Therefore, Viking Line was entitled to rely on the right to freedom of establishment to challenge the actions taken by ITWF.
An employer refused to enter into negotiations with the Trade Union on terms that may be imposed on a new employer. Moreover, the identity of the new employer was not known at the time of the refusal. As a result, the Trade Union contended that the refusal was a trade dispute.
The main issues in University College London Hospitals NHS Trust v UNISON:
Did the refusal constitute a trade dispute? Also, could the Trade Union use strike action?
Overall, the court held that the refusal did not constitute a trade dispute. Therefore, no strike action could be used by the Trade Union.
Twenty employees were part of Sefton Engineering Co. However, the employer decided to make two of the employees redundant. Moreover, the majority of the employees were part of a Trade Union (AUEW). The AUEW members claimed that Sefton Engineering Co failed to consult the Union about the two redundancies. Nevertheless, Sefton Engineering Co denied this.
The main issue in Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers v Sefton Engineering Co:
However, was Sefton Engineering Co liable?
Overall, the court held that Sefton Engineering Co was not liable. This was because AUEW was not recognised by Sefton Engineering Co as a trade union. Therefore, the Union’s claim failed.
A trade union threatened a strike against an employer when it discovered the employer’s ‘damning program’. Despite this, the trade union agreed to cancel the strike if the employer provided the reasons for making the employees redundant. Nonetheless, the employer argued that the trade union did not have statutory recognition to apply for a protective award under s.101 of the Employment Protection Act 1975.
The key issues in Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers v Sketchley Ltd:
Did the trade union have statutory recognition? Also, was the trade union entitled to apply for a protective award?
No. The Employment Appeal Tribunal held that an agreement to consult is not an agreement to negotiate. Also, an agreement to consult does not amount to recognition for the purposes of collective bargaining. However, the case was remitted to the industrial tribunal for further investigation.
The employer dismissed three employees by reason of redundancy. However, the trade union (TGWU) asserted that it should have been consulted by the employer. This was because the trade union was in discussions with the employer to reinstate one of the three employees for an earlier dispute. Furthermore, the company had once negotiated the settlement of a strike with the union. Nonetheless, the employer argued that this was not “recognition”.
Were the discussions involving the earlier dispute of one of the three employees and settlement of a strike considered to be “recognition”?
The court held that the employer was under no duty to consult with the union. This was because the discussions and settlement of a strike did not constitute as recognition. However, the trade union appealed against this decision. Nonetheless, the Employment Appeal Tribunal held that the settlement of a strike with the trade union was not sufficient to constitute recognition. Therefore, the trade union’s claim failed.