What to do when strike action is taken by another union
What action might my employer take?
This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on the individual manager. For example, it is unlawful to unfairly dismiss an employee but it still happens from time to time.
It is, however, likely that your employer will deduct money from your wages if you fail to attend work in the event of attending a strike action. This would be considered as not fulfilling your duties as described in your contract, or ‘breach of contract’, and will apply to any and all employees who take part in the strike action.
There will also be the potential for disciplinary action to be taken against you, which could result in a variety of outcomes based on your personal circumstances. You do have the right not to be dismissed purely on the grounds of having taken part in industrial action however. If you choose to take part in the industrial action for whatever reason and your employer decides to take you to disciplinary, we will of course be available to represent you and assist you in stating your case.
Industrial action by non-union members
Non-union members who take part in legal, official industrial action have the same rights as union members not to be dismissed as a result of taking action.
Crossing a picket line
You have the right to cross a picket line if you don’t support the industrial action being taken. If you’re being threatened by colleagues for crossing a picket line, you can report their behaviour to the police.
If you haven’t been able to cross a picket line, you need to convince your employer that you did everything reasonably possible to do so. If your employer considers you didn’t make every effort, they may decide that you have joined the industrial action. As mentioned above, this means they don’t have to pay you.
Most importantly, your own personal safety comes first. Keep in mind that the Workers of England will be ready, willing and able to represent you should you have any problems with your bosses (not just during strike action but whenever the need arises) so above all…keep safe!