Trade Union Act 1871

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved


Trade Union Act, 1871

(34 & 35 Vict.) CHAP. 31.

An Act to amend the Law relating to Trades Unions.

[29th June 1871]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

Preliminary.

Preliminary.

S-1 Short title.

1 Short title.

1. This Act may be cited as ‘TheTrade Union Act, 1871.’

Criminal Provisions.

Criminal Provisions.

S-2 Trade union not criminal.

2 Trade union not criminal.

2. The purposes of any trade union shall not, by reason merely that they are in restraint of trade, be deemed to be unlawful so as to render any member of such trade union liable to criminal prosecution for conspiracy or otherwise.

S-3 Trade union not unlawful for civil purposes.

3 Trade union not unlawful for civil purposes.

3. The purposes of any trade union shall not, by reason merely that they are in restraint of trade, be unlawful so as to render void or voidable any agreement or trust.

S-4 Trade union contracts, when not enforceable.

4 Trade union contracts, when not enforceable.

4. Nothing in this Act shall enable any court to entertain any legal proceeding instituted with the object of directly enforcing or recovering damages for the breach of any of the following agreements, namely,

S-1

1. Any agreement between members of a trade union as such, concerning the conditions on which any members for the time being of such trade union shall or shall not sell their goods, transact business, employ, or be employed:

S-2

2. Any agreement for the payment by any person of any subscription or penalty to a trade union:

S-3

3. Any agreement for the application of the funds of a trade union,—

(a.) To provide benefits to members; or

(b.) To furnish contributions to any employer or workman not a member of such trade union, in consideration of such employer or workman acting in conformity with the rules or resolutions of such trade union; or

(c.) To discharge any fine imposed upon any person by sentence of a court of justice; or,

S-4

4. Any agreement made between one trade union and another; or,

S-5

5. Any bond to secure the performance of any of the above-mentioned agreements.

But nothing in this section shall be deemed to constitute any of the above-mentioned agreements unlawful.

S-5 Provisions of 18 & 19 Vict. c. 63., 30 & 31 Vict. c. 117., 25 & 26 Vict. c. 89., &c. not to apply to trade unions.

5 Provisions of 18 & 19 Vict. c. 63., 30 & 31 Vict. c. 117., 25 & 26 Vict. c. 89., &c. not to apply to trade unions.

5 . The following Acts, that is to say,

S-1

(1.) The Friendly Societies Acts, 1855 and 1858, and the Acts amending the same;

S-2

(2.) The Industrial and Provident Societies Act, 1867, and any Act amending the same; and

S-3

(3.) The Companies Acts, 1862 and 1867,

shall not apply to any trade union, and the registration of any trade union under any of the said Acts shall be void, and the deposit of the rules of any trade union made under the Friendly Societies Acts, 1855 and 1858, and the Acts amending the same, before the passing of this Act, cease to be of any effect.

Registered Trade Unions.

Registered Trade Unions.

S-6 Registry of trade unions.

6 Registry of trade unions.

6. Any seven or more members of a trade union may by subscribing their names to the rules of the union, and otherwise complying with the provisions of this Act with respect to registry, register such trade union under this Act, provided that if any one of the purposes of such trade union be unlawful such registration shall be void.

S-7 Buildings for trade unions may be purchased or leased.

7 Buildings for trade unions may be purchased or leased.

7. It shall be lawful for any trade union registered under this Act to purchase or take upon lease in the names of the trustees for the time being of such union any land not exceeding one acre, and to sell, exchange, mortgage, or let the same, and no purchaser, assignee, mortgagee, or tenant shall be bound to inquire whether the trustees have authority for any sale, exchange, mortgage, or letting, and the receipt of the trustees shall be a discharge for the money arising therefrom; and for the purpose of this section every branch of a trade union shall be considered a distinct union.

S-8 Property of the trade unions vested in trustees.

8 Property of the trade unions vested in trustees.

8. All real and personal estate whatsoever belonging to any trade union registered under this Act shall be vested in the trustees for the time being of the trade union appointed as provided by this Act, for the use and benefit of such trade union and the members thereof, and the real or personal estate of any branch of a trade union shall be vested in the trustees of such branch, and be under the control of such trustees, their respective executors or administrators, according to their respective claims and interests, and upon the death or removal of any such trustees the same shall vest in the succeeding trustees for the same estate and interest as the former trustees had therein, and subject to the same trusts, without any conveyance or assignment whatsoever, save and except in the case of stocks and securities in the public funds of Great Britain and Ireland, which shall be transferred into the names of such new trustees; and in all actions, or suits, or indictments, or summary proceedings before any court of summary jurisdiction, touching or concerning any such property, the same shall be stated to be the property of the person or persons for the time being holding the said office of trustee, in their proper names, as trustees of such trade union, without any further description.

S-9 Actions, &c. by or against trustees, &c.

9 Actions, &c. by or against trustees, &c.

9. The trustees of any trade union registered under this Act, or any other officer of such trade union who may be authorised so to do by the rules thereof, are hereby empowered to bring or defend, or cause to be brought or defended, any action, suit, prosecution, or complaint in any court of law or equity, touching or concerning the property, right, or claim to property of the trade union; and shall and may, in all cases concerning the real or personal property of such trade union, sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, in any court of law or equity, in their proper names, without other description than the title of their office; and no such action, suit, prosecution, or complaint shall be discontinued or shall abate by the death or removal from office of such persons or any of them, but the same shall and may be proceeded in by their successor or successors as if such death, resignation, or removal had not taken place; and such successors shall pay or receive the like costs as if the action, suit, prosecution, or complaint had been commenced in their names for the benefit of or to be reimbursed from the funds of such trade union, and the summons to be issued to such trustee or other officer may be served by leaving the same at the registered office of the trade union.

S-10 Limitation of responsibility of trustees.

10 Limitation of responsibility of trustees.

10. A trustee of any trade union registered under this Act shall not be liable to make good any deficiency which may arise or happen in the funds of such trade union, but shall be liable only for the moneys which shall be actually received by him on account of such trade union.

S-11 Treasurers, &c. to account.

11 Treasurers, &c. to account.

11. Every treasurer or other officer of a trade union registered under this Act, at such times as by the rules of such trade union he should render such account as herein-after mentioned, or upon being required so to do, shall render to the trustees of the trade union, or to the members of such trade union, at a meeting of the trade union, a just and true account of all moneys received and paid by him since he last rendered the like account, and of the balance then remaining in his hands, and of all bonds or securities of such trade union, which account the said trustees shall cause to be audited by some fit and proper person or persons by them to be appointed; and such treasurer, if thereunto required, upon the said account being audited, shall forthwith hand over to the said trustees the balance which on such audit appears to be due from him, and shall also, if required, hand over to such trustees all securities and effects, books, papers, and property of the said trade union in his hands or custody; and if he fail to do so the trustees of the said trade union may sue such treasurer in any competent court for the balance appearing to have been due from him upon the account last rendered by him, and for all the moneys since received by him on account of the said trade union, and for the securities and effects, books, papers, and property in his hands or custody, leaving him to set off in such action the sums, if any, which he may have since paid on account of the said trade union; and in such action the said trustees shall be entitled to recover their full costs of suit, to be taxed as between attorney and client.

S-12 Punishment for withholding money, &c.

12 Punishment for withholding money, &c.

12. If any officer, member, or other person being or representing himself to be a member of a trade union registered under this Act, or the nominee, executor, administrator, or assignee of a member thereof, or any person whatsoever, by false...

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