Chapter

Strikes and the Common Law

K. D. Ewing

in The Right to Strike

Published in print February 1991 | ISBN: 9780198254393
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681486 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198254393.003.0002

Series: Oxford Monographs on Labour Law

Strikes and the Common Law

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This chapter considers the status of industrial action under the contact of employment. The second section considers strikes and the contract of employment. The third section considers industrial action which is not on the level of a strike. The fourth section examines common law consequences of strikes and other industrial action. It is clear that a strike, as well as most other forms of industrial action, is considered to be a breach of contract by the workers involved. This leaves the employer with a number of possible remedies, including injunctive relief, or the dismissal and replacement of the strikers. In English law, there is neither a comprehensive legal definition of a strike or industrial action nor a statutory definition of a strike used for general purposes. In practice, however, most strikes do not end in dismissal and the contract of employment goes on in a state of suspension.

Keywords: common law; Donovan Royal Commission; suspension; breach of contract; Lord Denning

Chapter.  10355 words. 

Subjects: Employment and Labour Law

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