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Title: The definition of a trade dispute : a comparative analysis in the light of recent Maltese case law and amendments to the law in England.
Authors: Brincat, Matthew
Keywords: Labor unions -- Malta
Labor unions -- Great Britain
Labor laws and legislation -- Malta
Labor laws and legislation -- Great Britain
Free ports and zones -- Malta
Commerce -- Malta
Industrial relations -- Malta
Issue Date: 2001
Citation: Brincat, M. (2001). The definition of a trade dispute : a comparative analysis in the light of recent Maltese case law and amendments to the law in England (Master's dissertation).
Abstract: The legal definition of a trade dispute has been the subject of much debate in recent years in Malta. The Malta Freeport Plc v. UHM dispute and the strike, which brought the Malta International Airport to a standstill during the summer of 1999, have brought into sharp definition the exposure of the Maltese islands and economy to the exercise of power by trade unions. This power has historical roots and has been exercised often, though perhaps not with the immediacy felt recently. The difficulties that the law relating to trade disputes raises have achieved a high profile with the Court of Appeal's judgment in the UHM/Freeport case. Within this context, a trade dispute must not be examined in isolation or out of context as there are many factors which enter into the question determining when a dispute can properly be defined as a 'trade dispute' according to law. It is these factors that I propose to examine in this thesis. Although labour law is quite liberal towards trade unions as far as industrial action is concerned, there are, in fact, many limitations to the scope and means of the action for it to remain within the ambit of the law. As I hope to show, the union must not only act within the context of the mere existence of a trade dispute, but it must be acting in contemplation or furtherance of that dispute. It is not a coincidence that both our legislators and our judiciary follow closely English law in order to solve local problems. Labour law and practice in Malta is modelled almost entirely on the law of England. In fact, union immunities such as those found under our law find little, if any, corresponding institutes within civil law jurisdictions. Due to a lack of local case law on the subject, one has to tum to English case law in order to establish certain principles and in order to deal with problems through which the English have already gone as far as labour law is concerned, one might almost say that Malta is re-living English history. We have not yet seen a Margaret Thatcher in Castille, but her spirit seems to have inspired various national leaders over the last few years. By means of this thesis I have also attempted to suggest various reforms to the Industrial Relations Act of 1976, some that have long been discussed and others that would be completely new to Maltese labour law. Perhaps the social partners, who have jumped onto the UHM Appeal bandwagon with relish, might now find space on their agendas to discuss the issues without passion. One lives in hope.
Description: LL.D.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacLaw - 1958-2009

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