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INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS: Autumn of discontent

23 September 2011  

Andrew Burns asks whether the courts will be able to stop public sector workers going on a general strike in protest at government cuts

The news in 2010 was often dominated by strikes across parts of the transport industry. Cabin crew opposed cuts by British Airways during the global downturn, the RMT union called for action on the London Underground and various railways, while tanker drivers threatened action over terms and conditions. As the autumn and winter of 2011 approaches, the political agenda is topped by cuts to public services and pensions and the resulting threat of industrial action by civil servants and other public sector workers. A day of action has already been taken by some teachers and Public and Commercial Services union members, but there is now talk of coordinating a form of general strike across the public sector in protest against the government’s policy.

Additional Info

  • Case(s) Referenced:

    British Airways plc v Unite the Union [2009] EWHC 3541 (QB); [2010] EWCA Civ 669

    EDF Energy Powerlink Ltd v National Union of Rail Maritime and Transport Workers [2009] EWHC 2852

    Metrobus v Unite the Union [2009] EWCA Civ 829

    National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers v Serco Ltd (t/a Serco Docklands) [2011] EWCA Civ 226