Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers v Sketchley Ltd [1981] 5 WLUK 198

strike, collective bargaining, trade unions and industrial action

Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers v Sketchley Ltd [1981] 5 WLUK 198 is an Employment Law case concerning Trade Unions and Industrial Action.

Facts: 

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.

Issues: 

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?

Held:

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. 

References: [1981] 5 WLUK 198, [1981] I.C.R. 644, [1981] I.R.L.R. 291, [1981] C.L.Y. 903

Read our notes on Trade Unions and Industrial Action and other cases for more information.