Page 1 of 3

Can a strike be gross misconduct?

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:41 pm
by Hairyloon
If the strike was not properly constructed in accordance with the relevant rules? Or for some other reason.

I'm thinking of the school cleaners who appear to have been sacked for striking, but the question has a general application.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/201 ... -christmas

Re: Can a strike be gross misconduct?

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:56 pm
by Millbrook2

Re: Can a strike be gross misconduct?

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:56 pm
by atticus
viewtopic.php?f=31&t=6499&hilit=Strike&start=10#p88666

As has been discussed before, going on strike is a breach of contract.

It may, however, be unfair dismissal if some, but not all, strikers are sacked.

Re: Can a strike be gross misconduct?

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:33 pm
by Hairyloon
atticus wrote:As has been discussed before, going on strike is a breach of contract.

It is, but that is not the same as gross misconduct.

It may, however, be unfair dismissal if some, but not all, strikers are sacked.

Why would it be and why might it not be?

I find it slightly odd that they have been striking for 14 weeks, but are sacked two weeks after they went back to work.

Re: Can a strike be gross misconduct?

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 12:38 am
by Hairyloon
Excerpt from statement by employer:
According to Wakefield Council’s transfer information the cleaners were being paid £7.056 per hour (rounded to £7.06), which was increased by C&D to £7.20 per hour upon transfer. No changes were made to sick or holiday pay.

Subsequently a dispute arose in relation to the cleaners’ hourly rate of pay. At first it was alleged by the cleaners that they should be receiving £7.56 per hour. When asked for copies of their wage slips or a contract to show this the cleaners said they had been instructed by UNISON not to provide any information or assistance.


http://www.cdcleaningservices.co.uk/off ... atement-2/

If this is not true, then is it likely to be defamatory of the union? Or, if it is true, then what possible reason could they have for advising the employees to not give the evidence?

Re: Can a strike be gross misconduct?

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 5:37 am
by dls
You stop half way.

It looks like a failure of the lawyers involved either to request or communicate any concluded agreements to increase salaries. It does of course depend also on the timimgs.
Equally, if the Union did give such and instruction to their members it looks more like the union playing politics than anything else.

Re: Can a strike be gross misconduct?

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 1:27 pm
by Hairyloon
dls wrote:It looks like a failure of the lawyers involved either to request or communicate any concluded agreements to increase salaries.

It looked to me like a typo: using the keypad and hitting zero along with the decimal point; thus we have £7.056 instead of £7.56.

Equally, if the Union did give such and instruction to their members it looks more like the union playing politics than anything else.

That was much what I thought, but is there any valid reason for such an instruction? Or ought the union be sued for negligence?

Re: Can a strike be gross misconduct?

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 2:04 pm
by atticus
There may be other alternatives, and not just that the instruction is valid or that the union ought to be sued.

Surely the breach of contract was the reason for dismissal.

7.056 rounds up (by 0.004) to 7.06. No typo.

Re: Can a strike be gross misconduct?

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:09 pm
by Hairyloon
atticus wrote:There may be other alternatives, and not just that the instruction is valid or that the union ought to be sued.

There may, but I cannot think of any, which is why I raise the point for discussion.

Surely the breach of contract was the reason for dismissal.

Which breach, and why call it "gross misconduct"?

7.056 rounds up (by 0.004) to 7.06. No typo.

Unless you are intimately connected to the case, then how do you know it was not a typo? The rounding is no proof.

Re: Can a strike be gross misconduct?

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:39 pm
by atticus
The breach is of a kind described in post 3.