Supreme Court unanimously upholds Unite’s right to strike

In a ‘landmark ruling’, the Supreme Court has today found that Unite was fully legally entitled to undertake strike action in a dispute with construction company Jones Engineering.
The strike action, which involved hundreds of mechanical workers employed by Jones Engineering, shut down construction work on Intel and Pfizer projects last year, in a dispute relating to travel time payments. Jones Engineering was initially successful in an application for an injunction, which placed extensive procedural hoops on Unite before it was able to commence industrial action.
Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “This is a fantastic result and a historic win for all workers that will have far reaching consequences. This victory for Unite sends a powerful message to all employers that they can’t trample on a worker’s right to strike.  I am proud of our reps who faced enormous pressure by being named in the High and Supreme Court proceedings. This win vindicates them and underlines Unite’s commitment to do whatever it takes to defend our members.”
The Supreme Court unanimously found that Unite had fulfilled its obligations under the 1990 Industrial Relations Act and was entitled to the protections of the Act in carrying out industrial action.
Tom Fitzgerald, Unite regional coordinating officer, said: “The Supreme Court was unanimous and emphatic in stating that Unite was entitled to the protections of the 1990 Industrial Relations Act and that the injunction should not have been granted. 
“Unite will now sit down with our legal team to understand the ramifications of the decision, but this now clearly ends any ambiguity around the right to strike once unions ensure they comply with their obligations under the Act."