High Court judge refuses to rubber stamp union’s Kwik-Fit bid

A
High Court judge has rejected a union’s bid for recognition at branches of
Kwik-Fit.

Annanova
reports that Mr Justice Elias quashed an arbitration ruling that all the
company’s London centres within the M25 made up "an appropriate unit"
for bargaining on employees’ rights.

In
December, the Central Arbitration Committee ruled that defining a bargaining
unit as being within a geographical area was not contrary to the principle of
the unit being “compatible with effective management”.

The
judge said Parliament could never have intended the committee to have such
"wide and arbitrary discretion" in making the decision. He said he
found it surprising that the definition of an effective bargaining unit had not
been "unambiguously spelt out" in legislation.and sent the matter
back to be reconsidered by a different CAC panel.

Kwik-Fit
had argued that a bargaining unit should only be so big that the company could
maintain effective management.

The
Transport & General Workers’ Union said the ruling meant it would now have
to call off a ballot over union recognition among more than 650 employees up to
and including depot managers at KwikFit’s 110 centres within the M25.

The
judgment has important implications for other firms and organisations.

By Quentin Reade

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