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The Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1992

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This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Right to a ballot before industrial action

32.  (1)  A member of a trade union who claims that the union has, without the support of a ballot, authorised or endorsed any industrial action in which members of the union (including that member) are likely to be, or have been, induced by the union to take part or to continue to take part may apply to the High Court for an order under this Article.

(2) Where, on an application under this Article, the High Court is satisfied—

(a)that a trade union has, without the support of a ballot, authorised or endorsed any industrial action;

(b)that (whether or not the action has already commenced) members of the union are likely to be, or have been, induced by the union to take part or to continue to take part in that action; and

(c)that the members of the union who are likely to be, or have been, so induced include the applicant,

the court shall make such order as it considers appropriate for requiring the union to take steps (including the withdrawal of any relevant authorisation or endorsement) for ensuring that there is no, or no further, inducement of members of the union to take part or to continue to take part in that action and that no such member engages in any conduct after the making of the order by virtue of having been induced before the making of the order to take part or to continue to take part in the action.

(3) For the purposes of this Article a trade union has authorised or endorsed any industrial action if there has been—

(a)such an authorisation or endorsement of an act which has been done for inducing any member of the union to take part or to continue to take part in that action; or

(b)such an authorisation of any proposed act for inducing such a member to take part or to continue to take part in that action,

as requires that member, or if the act were done would require that member, to be treated for the purposes of this Article as induced by the union to take part or, as the case may be, to continue to take part in that action.

(4) For the purposes of this Article a person shall be treated as induced by a trade union to take part or to continue to take part in any industrial action if he is subjected to such an inducement to take part or to continue to take part in that action as is or (if it constituted an inducement to break a contract of employment or to interfere with the performance of such a contract) would be taken, for the purposes of any such proceedings as are mentioned in Article 21(1) to have been done by the union.

(5) For the purposes of an application under this Article an authorisation or endorsement by a trade union of any industrial action is without the support of a ballot unless—

(a)the trade union has held one or more ballots in respect of that action;

(b)the applicant has been accorded entitlement to vote in the ballot or, as the case may be, in one of them;

(c)Article 45 has been satisfied in relation to the ballot in which the applicant was accorded entitlement to vote;

(d)the majority voting in that ballot have answered “Yes”—

(i)in the case of action which consists in a strike, to a question (however framed) which requires the person answering it to say, by answering “Yes” or “No”, whether he is prepared to take part or, as the case may be, to continue to take part in a strike;

(ii)in the case of action which consists in action short of a strike, to a question (however framed) which requires the person answering it to say, by answering “Yes” or “No”, whether he is prepared to take part or, as the case may be, to continue to take part in such action;

(iii)in the case of action which consists in action to which both of the questions mentioned in heads (i) and (ii) are applicable, to the question or questions applicable to that part of the action in which the applicant is likely to be, or has been, induced to take part or to continue to take part; and

(e)the first authorisation or endorsement of that industrial action and, in the case of any action which has been authorised rather than endorsed, the commencement of the action occurred or is likely to occur at a time after the date on which that ballot was held and before the end of the period of four weeks beginning with that date.

(6) Without prejudice to any power conferred on the High Court otherwise than by virtue of this Article, the court shall have power,on an application under this Article, to grant any such interlocutory relief as it considers appropriate.

(7) In this Article references to an inducement, in relation to a member of a trade union, include references to an inducement which is or would be ineffective, whether because of that member’s unwillingness to be influenced by it or for any other reason.

(8) In this Article and the following provisions of this Part “member” , in relation to a trade union consisting wholly or partly of, or of representatives of, constituent or affiliated organisations, includes any member of any of the constituent or affiliated organisations.

(9) In this Article “industrial action” means any strike or other industrial action by persons employed under contracts of employment.

(10) Nothing in this Article shall be construed as requiring a trade union to hold separate ballots for the purposes of this Article and for the purposes of Part VI.

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