A threatened strike that would seriously disrupt ferry services between Britain and continental Europe was ruled illegal Monday night, just hours before industrial action was due to start.
Britain's ferry operators obtained High Court injunctions late Monday ordering the National Union of Seamen to withdraw instructions to members to walk out. If the strike does go ahead, the NUS would be breaking the law and would risk having its funds seized.The National Union of Seaman had called for an indefinite stoppage from today in support of 161 members whose jobs are threatened by new working practices introduced by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. There was no immediate comment from the NUS about Monday's court ruling and whether the union still intended to press ahead with industrial action.
The court ruled in favor of Sealink British Ferries and six P&O ferry companies on the grounds that they were in no way involved in the Isle of Man case and were not in dispute with the NUS.
Industrial action would hit some of Britain's busiest ports, including Dover, Felixstowe, Southampton and Harwich, which operate ferry services to France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Ireland.