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[2006] ICR 1

Case summary last updated at 18/02/2020 20:43 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case NUJ

Half of employer D’s sports journalists were members of NUJ, and NUJ and D started discussing recognition for collective bargaining, but D decided instead to recognise the BAJ union, even thought it only had one member among that bargaining group. CAC felt it had no power to accept NUJ’s application since there was already a collective negotiating agreement in place. NUJ sought JR of this decision. CA upheld the decision of CAC on the basis that it was confined by s.35, schedule 1 (see above) Employment Relations Act 1999. The agreement was ‘in force’ (within s.35) as it was binding on both D and BAJ. This leads to the conclusion (Deakin and Morris accept this too) that there is nothing to stop employers choosing to negotiate with a union, even if it has no actual support among the workforce. Buxton LJ also ruled out the possibility that the laws were in breach of article 11 ECHR, on the grounds that article 11 rights did not guarantee a right to be recognised for the purposes of collective bargaining. Also it couldn’t be contrary to art. 14 ECHR (non-discrimination) because since paragraph 35 was not limiting or punitive or aimed at a particular category of workers but was even-handed in according primacy to existing recognition agreements. 

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