In the 1870s and 1880s unions pressed for an act that would force employers to compensate workers injured at work. An 1880 effort was wrecked by the "common employment" rule, which allowed employers to shift responsibility to other employees. Until 1901, labor concentrated on such less-basic laws, but that year the courts again dealt a potentially fatal blow to unions. The Taff Vale railway, which had been struck by the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, sued the union for damages. The courts found the union liable and ordered it to pay the railway company for the losses caused by the strike. If the Taff Vale precedent had stood, unions could have been held liable for losses caused by any strike, which would have rendered them impotent.