Thomas and Others v National Union of Mineworkers (South Wales Area) and Others [1985]

  • Created by: channyx
  • Created on: 20-03-20 14:13


This case arose a result of the miners' strike in the 1980s. The National Union of Mineworkers had withdrawn their labour in opposition to the closure of pits by the Conservative government of the time led by Margaret Thatcher. At the time, Wales had 40 pits employing 21,000 people. Approximately, 270 of those had returned to work by January 1985. The claimants were some of the miners who had returned to work. Their return had been met by picketing. As the non-striking miners entered the colliery in vehicles, the striking miners had yelled abuse at them (such as 'Kill the scabs', 'You scabby bastards', and 'You're dead'). However, the striking miners were kept back from the non-striking miners by the police. The claimants sought an injunction restraining the organization of pickets and demonstrations by the defendants.

To succeed in their claim against the defendants the plaintiffs had to show that they had a cause of action in tort that was outside the immunity conferred on pickets by section 15 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1974.

It was held that the tort of assault had not been committed in these circumstances. According to Scott J, this tort is not committed unless the defendant has…


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