Sparks win Balfour case, strike can go ahead

by - 16th February 2012, 13.15 GMT

Unite has secured what officials believe may be a historically significant High Court decision covering its strike ballot among Balfour Beatty electricians.

Lord Eady has rejected a claim for an injunction to stop the union acting on a 67% ballot in favour of action against the imposition of “sign or be sacked” contracts.

Unite officials are examining he details of the judgement, to establish whether the ruling sets a precedent for other unions seeking to challenge similar injunctions halting strike ballots.

The union’s lawyers had successfully argued that they had gone to all reasonable lengths – including making thousands of phone calls, text messages and other contacts – to ensure membership lists were up to date and that all those members entitled to vote, were able to do so.

They had argued that if small numbers of members did not receive ballot papers, this was unintentional and would not have had any material impact on the outcome of the vote.

The union is now able to proceed to nominate strike days in due course, but officials say they will continue to seek a negotiated settlement with Balfour Beatty and the other six breakaway companies.