Murdoch's TOTW: Trade Union

Trade Union:

(1) Means a trade union which is the holder of a negotiation licence under Part II of the Trade Union Act 1941: Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 s.2.

(2) Any combination, whether temporary or permanent, the principal object of which are under its constitution the regulation of the relations between workmen and masters, or between workmen and workmen, or between masters and masters, or the imposing of restrictive conditions on the conduct of any trade or business, and also the provision of benefits to members: Trade Union Act 1913 s.2.

See National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and IPU v Sisk [1992 SC] ILRM 96; Barry in 9ILT & SJ (1991) 271.

A trade union may be UNREGISTERED (qv), CERTIFIED (qv), REGISTERED (qv) or AUTHORISED (qv). The statutory immunities conferred on trade unions by the Industrial Relations Act 1990 are restricted to AUTHORISED TRADE UNIONS (qv) only (ibid ss.9-13).

Trade union density is on the decline in Ireland and has been consistently so for quite some time. Central Statistics Office data published in April 2008 (Quarterly National Household Survey - Union Membership Q2 2007 available at indicates that union density fell to 31.5% in the second quarter of 2007 which continues a trend of decreases since the peak of the 1980s when union density stood at around 62%.

The rules of a club, association or union, form the contract between the officers and the members and set down how the affairs of the body should be conducted; consequently, its affairs are not in general susceptible to judicial review in the absence of MALA FIDES (qv) or disregard of the rules: McEvoy v Prison Officers Association [1999 SC] 1 ILRM 445. See Riordan v Butler [1940] IR 347; Sheriff v McMullen [1952] IR 236. For Irish Congress of Trade Unions, see website For the European Trade Union Confederation, see website: [Bibliography: Kerr; Kerr & Whyte; Maguire C (1)]. See IMMUNITY; TRADE DISPUTE; PICKETING; UNFAIR DISMISSAL; UNLAWFUL INTERFERENCE WITH CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS; WORK, RIGHT TO.


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