High Court Decision - General Strike Illegal

Hertfordshire Mercury, 5th May 1926


Hertfordshire Mercury, 15th May 1926


In the High Court of Justice , Chancery Division on Tuesday , Mr Justice Astbury made an important statement regarding the General strike and its legality.

Giving judgement in regard to two actions for injunctions he said the so-called general strike was illegal and contrary to law and those inciting persons to it were not protected by the Trades Dispute Act ,1906. there was no trade dispute whatever alleged to exist , except in the case of the mining industry , and no trade dispute could exist between the General Council of the Trade Union Congress and the Government . The orders of the council were , therefore , unlawful , and the defendants were acting illegally , and ought to be restrained.

Members of the Union refusing to strike could not be deprived of their benefits . No member of the plaintiff Union or any other Union could lose benefits by refusing to obey illegal orders , and the orders of the Trades Union Council were illegal.

The Union was entitled to have this made known .

Members striking would not be entitled during the continuance of the strike to receive strike pay . The funds of a trade union were held in a fiduciary capacity and could not be legally be used for , or depleted by , paying strike pay to those strikes who obeyed illegal orders. The matter was beyond question . The defendants , in addition to defying the law , had broken the rules of their Union .

There must be an injunction until trial or further order in the terms of the notice of motion .

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