An injunction is a court order requiring a party to the proceedings to do or not do something. An interim injunction will prevent a union from taking, or continuing, a strike or other industrial action.
Unions know that employers will scrutinise its documents very carefully in order to determine whether there are sufficient defects to obtain and injunction. It is unrealistic to think that the union would knowingly mis-state any information, thereby opening itself up to the risk of legal challenge. So the question tends to be whether the union has inadvertently misled the employer, which can often be the case.
Some common mistakes made by unions when calling strike action are:
- the figures in the ballot/strike notification not being as accurate as reasonably practicable;
- the ballot notification not including an accurate or adequate explanation as to how the union has determined which members ought to be balloted;
- workers being allowed to vote even though it was not reasonable for the union to believe that they would be induced to strike; and
- workers not being allowed to vote who should have been.
If any of the above mistakes are made by the union, an employer will have grounds for seeking an injunction on the basis of an invalid ballot.
If your workers are planning a strike and you want help obtaining an injunction to stop it from going ahead, contact us now.