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Old 26th Mar 2011, 07:06
  #97 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: GB
Posts: 135
Originally Posted by Litebulbs
Un/protected will be matter for the courts.
It may end up in court, but of course if Unite itself believes any of BASSA's 10 reasons for strike could expose them or their membership, then they have the right not to authorise a strike called by BASSA's end-of-the-line leadership, and if they do authorise such an action, then they have a moral obligation to inform crew of the very real risks.

The clue that one of these reasons might be be related to previous action can be seen in bullet point 2, and the phrase "related to the previous dispute" which BASSA has cleverly spelled out for all to see....

It's also important BASSA members are aware of the basis on which the courts will assess the case; in doing so they can judge for themselves whether it's worth the risk of being fired:

Taking part in industrial action : Directgov - Employment

Originally Posted by HM Government

If you continue to take part in protected industrial action for more than 12 weeks your rights are different. If you are dismissed for taking part after the end of the 12 weeks your dismissal will only be unfair if, at the time of your dismissal, your employer has not followed reasonable steps to settle the dispute with the trade union.

Dismissal and unprotected industrial action

Official industrial action organised by a trade union is 'unprotected' if:
  1. the trade union has failed to hold a postal ballot in-line with the law
  2. the trade union has not told the employer, in-line with the law, about the industrial action ahead of a ballot or ahead of the industrial action
  3. it has been disowned by the trade union (eg because someone without authority called for the action, or because the trade union considers the dispute to be resolved), sometimes called 'repudiated action'
  4. it is secondary industrial action (in support of workers of another employer), sometimes called 'sympathy action'
  5. it promotes ‘union labour only’ practices (also known as a ‘closed shop’)
  6. it is in support of any workers who have been dismissed for taking unofficial action
  7. other aspects of industrial action law have been breached by the trade union

If you are dismissed while taking part in unprotected industrial action called for by your trade union, you cannot normally claim unfair dismissal if all the other employees taking part are dismissed as well.

You can complain about unfair dismissal if you are dismissed:
  • for an automatically unfair reason (eg because of your duties as a health and safety representative)
  • while taking part in the industrial action but others taking part are not dismissed
  • for taking part in unprotected industrial action, after you stopped taking part

Just because you can make a claim for unfair dismissal does not mean it will be successful.
Of more interest than the above to Unite will be the potential for BASSA's strike to be counted as incitement for someone to breach their contract.

That is serious stuff, because if any TU officer (and that would include Branch Sec, for instance) induces someone to breach their contract outside a protected dispute, the employer can take that TU officer, and the TU, to court.

It is not clear to me whether this allows for recovery of all and any costs and losses arising from the breach, or is capped at £250,000.

That could create a significant personal liability for some.

More info here:

Having said all that, I personally believe that BASSA is a busted flush, its actions are now irrelevant to BA as they don't affect the Operation, and BASSA isn't motivated to compromise or settle this dispute, which is effectively lost.

So it's very much a case of "Keep Calm and Carry On" whatever the result of BASSA's latest April Fool's Day Ballot.
VintageKrug is offline