Monday, July 22, 2013

European Court undermines the rights of privatised workers

I am indebted to Daniel Barnett for the news of the outcome of the Alemo-Herron case (

This is a truly alarming decision of the European Court which forbids English Courts from applying a "dynamic" interpretation of contractual rights in the event of a TUPE transfer from the public to private sectors, in favour of a "static" interpretation.

What this means in practice is that workers who are privatised will no longer receive pay rises (or any other changes) negotiated by (for example) the Local Government National Joint Council.

This decision tears the contracts of privatised workers away from any existing collective bargaining machinery - and delivers a fatal blow to the approach of those union officials who think we have no choice but to accommodate to privatisation.

The full implications of this very important decision require further thought.

But for now, let me say this.


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