European Court rules for ASLEF – unions can choose its members

27 February 2007

ASLEF learned today that it has won a case against the government that it took to the European Court. The issue at stake was whether a union has the right to choose its own membership.

The government position was that this was not the case and that an individual had the right to join whatever union he or she chose. The union maintained it has a right to choose whether to admit an individual. The case arose from ASLEF’s expulsion of an individual.

The European Court ruled that the union was correct and that the government position violated Article 11 which is concerned with freedom of association.

The government has been ordered to pay the union 53,900 euros in legal costs and expenses.

The union’s National Organiser Andy Reed was, predictably, elated at the result. ‘This is a significant decision not only for us, but for the whole trade union movement,’ he said. ‘Union members can now be confident that they have the autonomy to choose who joins them in their organisation. We’re delighted.’

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