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Dismissal of union official for encouraging ‘cyber picketing’ automatically unfair

Makbool Javaid
supreme court

In Rogers v Picturehouse Cinemas Limited, R was a BECTU union representative. She was dismissed for three reasons: (1) sending an email after a union meeting that encouraged ‘cyber-picketing’, i.e. block booking cinema seats in an online basket without any intention to purchase the tickets, preventing genuine sales; (2) failing to report to PC Ltd or BECTU that she had sent the email; and, (3) failing to report to PC Ltd or BECTU that there had been cyber picketing at Hackney cinema. An ET found that R was automatically unfairly dismissed under S.152(1)(b) Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 in that she had taken part in the activities of an independent trade union at an appropriate time. The sending of the email amounted to a trade union activity, it was protected by S152(1)(b), there was legitimate expectation it would be reported, and R genuinely believed that the activity had formed part of the furtherance of the industrial action in which BECTU was engaged at the time. 

The updates are kindly provided by Simons Muirhead & Burton Law firm

This update provides summary information and comment on the subject areas covered. Where employment tribunal and appellate court cases are reported, the information does not set out all of the facts, the legal arguments presented and help judgments made in every aspect of the case. Click on the links to access full details. If no link is provided, contact us for more information.  Employment law is subject to constant change either by statute or by interpretation by the courts. While every care has been taken in compiling this information, SM&B cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Specialist legal advice must be taken on any legal issues that may arise before embarking upon any formal course of action.

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