chapter  15
1 Pages

TRADE UNION IMMUNITIES

As we have already observed, amendments to the Trade Disputes Act 1906 were necessary in the 1960s and 1970s as a consequence of judicial decisions which circumvented the immunities by expanding the scope of the established torts and by developing new forms of tort liability. The amended immunities were consolidated into the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1974. In contrast to previous legislative policy, statutory (rather then judicial) changes, initiated during the 1980s, have narrowed the circumstances when the immunities apply and enlarged the number of exceptions to them. The core immunities and all relevant amendments are now found by reference to the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act (TULR(C)A) 1992.1

Protection for inducing breach of contract or for interfering with the performance of a contract in the direct or indirect form or for the use of the tort as ‘unlawful means’ is provided by s 219(1)(a).2 Immunity for the tort of intimidation (that is, threatening to induce a breach or interference with the performance of a contract) is found in s 219(1)(b) and for the tort of conspiracy to injure in s 219(2).3