Chelmsford TUC

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Use a Trade Union Solicitor

Trade unions are proud of the legal services they provide to members injured or denied their rights at work. Chelmsford TUC advises all working people to join a trade union for legal advice and protection at and away from work.

Every year trade unions obtain millions of pounds for their members. Both large and small unions have an impressive record.

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Yes, but trust your trade union solicitor

Unlike the ‘no win no fee’ compensation claims firms that advertise on television, trade union legal services are absolutely free to members, win, lose or draw. These services are also free to the friends and family of union members who suffer injury away from work. Because unions are not for profit organisations they do not impose hidden charges. Chelmsford TUC hears of individuals who have been injured through no fault of their own, who have been charged more by a claims firm than the compensation they received for their injury.

Trade union legal services have been responsible for many of the groundbreaking test cases that have established people’s rights at work. These have included both employment rights - where unions back cases to the House of Lords and the European Court of Justice - and in relation to workplace injuries and disease.

The right to claim compensation for asbestos related disease, for example, was established through test cases fought by trade union lawyers. That fight continues today, with unions squaring up to the insurance industry to protect the right of individuals with pleural plaques to claim compensation.

Unions instruct law firms on behalf of their members, who are the experts in personal injury and trade union and employment law. Together they have taken cases which:

 established legal liability in the field of asbestos

 won the first compensation for asbestos related disease for bystanders led to the national deafness scheme and helped change IIB awards for deaf workers

 established claims for bladder cancer in the 1960’s

 led the courts to recognise occupational asthma

 won the first workplace stress caused by working practices case

 brought the first successful passive smoking case

 established the principle that those who suffer the often crippling upper limb disorders due to the repetitive nature of their work and inadequate/unsuitable equipment should be compensated

 won compensation for nurses suffering latex allergies

 pursued employers responsible for the deaths of workers due to unsafe working practices

 established the right of workers to take proper rest breaks (Holland and Ors V Heathrow Express).

Trade union legal services include:

 Representation for members injured at or away from work

 Representation for members injured in road traffic accidents

 Representation for members who develop a work-related industrial disease

 Representation to family members injured away from work Employment rights

 Free legal advice on non-work related matters, including family law, consumer law, financial issues.

 Free wills and low cost conveyancing.

The following are some of the legal practices that are used by trade unions. However, a trade union member will be referred through the union’s legal service to a particular firm. For this purpose, most unions have a telephone helpline for members who have been injured at or away from work, or who need free legal advice on non-work related matters.

If a member has a problem at work and needs advice about employment rights, they must go through their trade union representative.

  • Thompsons: Thompsons Solicitors is the UK’s largest personal injury and trade union law firm. It is the leading specialist in asbestos-related disease, chemical injury and catastrophic injuries. It produces a range of personal injury, health and safety and employment rights leaflets which are downloadable from the firm’s website and are free to trade union members. Have a look at its website and see all the latest news.

 Labour Research also assists our Movement by engaging employment law specialists. They answer hundreds of queries every month from its affiliates, and publishes Industrial Relations Law Reports.