Socialist Worker

Legal firm that specialises in action against unions

Issue No. 2126

Solicitors’ firm Bircham Dyson Bell was at the centre of legal action against the recent bus strike and the injunction against last year’s post strike.

On its website the firm boasts, “We act only for employers. We have substantial experience and expertise in challenging industrial action, including identifying potential procedural defects in the union’s balloting and notification process.”

It goes on: “We have successfully made or threatened injunction applications for employers acting alone or in concert against unions such as the CWU, RMT, Aslef, Unite and the GMB…

“We have the people and the expertise to resource multiple challenges: past work includes organising three concurrent High Court challenges restraining a national rail strike, a strike by baggage handlers at 27 UK airports and a strike at a major London commuter train operator.

“We also pursue claims against unions for damages arising out of unlawful industrial action.

“We provide clients with advice on managing industrial action including issues such as controlling picketing (including the legality of videoing and disciplining pickets), repudiation of official but unlawful action, using agency workers, abandoning check off, lock outs, mass/selective dismissals, deductions from wages... providing incentives to staff to work normally.

“We have substantial experience in handling day to day issues such as controlling time off for union representatives, disciplinary action against trade union representatives.”

On 15 October Bircham Dyson Bell hosted a forum on employment law matters.

Its publicity states: “For a number of years relations between employers and employees have been comparatively harmonious. The impact of the credit crunch, with rising prices and a looming recession has led to increasing uncertainty and pressure for significant wage rises.

“Trade unions sense that their influence is again on the rise and are pushing for major employee relations policy changes in return for continued support for Labour.”

The conference promised to equip employers to cope with the new challenges.

The confirmed speakers included Jon Millidge, Royal Mail’s Interim Group HR Director and Tory shadow minister for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Jonathan Djanogly.

The Tories want to extend the anti-union laws. Undoubtedly Djanogly was impressed by Bircham Dyson Bell’s record.

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Article information

Tue 4 Nov 2008, 18:30 GMT
Issue No. 2126
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