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Disputes with government

It is often argued that disputes that involve the government of the day tend to be motivated by political considerations and, therefore, cannot be genuine trade disputes. This is the implication of the decision in National Sailors’ and Firemen’s Union v Reed,31 where a general strike called by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in support of workers already taking action did not have the protection of the Trades Disputes Act 1906. Astbury J held that the strike was not in furtherance of a trade dispute as ‘no trade dispute does or can exist between the Trades Union Congress on the one hand and the government and the nation on the other’.32