Sunday, May 09, 2010

The Law Versus the Trade Unions? Reflections on the Past and Strategies for the Future

My friend and comrade Liz Davies has asked me to publicise this important - and perhaps all to timely - event coming up on Thursday 27 May.

The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers and Institute for Employment Rights invite you to Lord Wedderburn QC and Jim Mortimer (former Labour Party General Secretary) in conversation with John Hendy QC

"The Law Versus the Trade Unions? Reflections on the Past and Strategies for the Future".

The speakers will reflect on the trade unions' relationship with the law and legal strategies, including thoughts on the 1984 – 1985 miners' strike, legal assaults on the right to strike and other forms of collective action along with the growing emphasis on individual redress
through employment tribunals. In the present context of a severe economic crisis and increased attacks on workers, this meeting aims to equip a new generation with lessons learnt on how to both use and confront the law in the struggles ahead.

Thursday 27 May 2010, 6.30pm - 8.30pm at Invision Suites 1 and 2, TUC, Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS, nearest tube Tottenham Court Road.

Admisison free (£10 to legal practitioners requiring CPD points).

John Hendy QC is a leading QC in the areas of employment law, health and safety, public inquiries and personal injuries. He has represented the National Union of Mineworkers on numerous occasions, appeared in the inquiries into the Southall and Ladbroke Grove train crashes on behalf of the victims, and led the ground-breaking test case litigation establishing liability for "vibration white finger" on behalf of British Coal mineworkers. He is currently acting for Unite in the British Airways litigation. He is a Vice-President of the Haldane Society.

Jim Mortimer was General Secretary of the Labour Party between 1982 and 1987. He played a notable role in the miners' strike of 1984 – 1985, throwing himself into support for the miners and being given honorary membership of the NUM in recognition of his efforts. Prior to becoming General Secretary, he had been a national official of the Association of Engineering and Shipbuilding Draughtsmen, later to become part of the Manufacturing, Science and Finance Union (MSF) and now contained within Unite. He was a trade union member of the National Board for Prices and Incomes between 1968 and 1971, and was the first Chairman of ACAS.

Lord Wedderburn of Charlton QC is a distinguished employment lawyer and legal academic and was Professor of Commercial Law at the LSE 1964 - 92. His books range from The Worker and the Law (first published 1965) to Employment Rights in Britain and Europe (1992), and Labour Law and Freedom (1997). In 1998, European Community Law: Principles and Perspectives, containing essays by an international group of writers, was published in his honour. He is a Labour member of the House of Lords and a Vice-President of the Haldane Society.

With the kind sponsorship of Garden Court Chambers, O H Parsons & Partners, Old Square Chambers, Pattinson & Brewer, Thompsons solicitors and Tooks Court Chambers.

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