Trade Disputes Act (1906)
The Trade Disputes Act of 1906 enshrined into law the rights of unions to strike. The Liberal Government of Campbell-Bannerman was responding to a number of legal cases surrounding strikes and unrest among workers unions.
The Trade Disputes Act was introduced by the Liberals shortly after their election, with a large majority, in 1906. Initially the act set out to prevent unions being held responsible for any financial losses incurred by a strike. However, this version of the Bill was replaced by a more wide reaching one.
Criticised by the opposition and some members of the Liberal Cabinet, the bill was passed. The Bill changed the way in which industrial disputes are handled. It enabled collective bargaining and to all intents and purposes made the option to strike a right of organised trade unions.