Scargill to fight strike ban

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The Independent Online
Arthur Scargill, president of the National Union of Mineworkers, last night won leave to appeal against an injunction preventing strike action by miners in the privatised coal industry, writes Barrie Clement.

Mr Scargill agreed not to go ahead with the disruption pending the result of a Court of Appeal hearing which begins on Monday.

Earlier yesterday RJB Mining, which bought 20 pits from the Government last year, won a High Court order to stop a campaign of 24-hour walkouts starting next Tuesday.

The judge ruled that the action was unlawful under the 1992 Trade Union and Labour Relations Act because the first stoppage was being staged more than 28 days after the ballot. The court decided the deadline expires at midnight on Monday.

Mr Scargill said : "This judgment has not only stood the law on its head, but has rewritten the calendar." The NUM, which is not recognised for the purposes of collective bargaining, plans a second stoppage next Friday and an indefinite campaign of strikes on Mondays and Fridays in protest at a freeze on basic pay.

The company says employees' pay has been rising as productivity improved.