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Mercury Communications v Scott-Garner

[1984] ICR 74 (CA)

Case summary last updated at 17/02/2020 20:41 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Mercury Communications v Scott-Garner

Under statute, SoS granted Mercury a licence to have a telecommunications system, and Mercury and BT (still nationalised) agreed that they would be able to use each others’ systems. However union ordered its members who worked for BT to refuse to connect Mercury to its system, because it had decided not to cooperate with Mercury and was concerned about fears of BT privatisation. CA awarded Mercury an injunction restraining the union from interfering with its contractual relations in this way. This was primarily a dispute about liberalisation which the union was set against. It was therefore a political action, and not a ‘trade dispute’. Therefore the union did not qualify for the statutory immunities. The 1982 act governing immunity during trade disputes had restricted the definition to cases ‘wholly or mainly’ concerned with the termination of employment. 

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