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Originally published on This is the Sentinel  By John Woodhouse

Pickets were back outside Wade Ceramics today after a High Court judge overturned a management attempt to prevent further strike action. 

The Burslem firm last week took out an injunction against potters' union CATU claiming further stoppages were unlawful without a second ballot.

But at the end of a two-and-a-half hour hearing at Manchester High Court the Hon Mr Justice Longmore ruled in favour of the union.

CATU say the firm claimed officials had not complied with the relevant legislation to stage a strike -- for instance by failing to supply names and addresses of those taking part.

The union argued they had made ''minor clerical errors'' which did not warrant further action being declared illegal.

London QC Alan Wilkie was employed by CATU to fight their corner in the first occasion they had faced such an action.

After the hearing CATU general secretary Geoff Bagnall said: ''From the first day of this dispute the union has always behaved to the spirit and letter of the law -- and although we made minor clerical errors, that was what we always attempted to do.

''It was interesting to hear the judge in court describe this area as a legal minefield. However, it is our intention to settle this dispute through negotiation and without the need for further strike action.''

Mr Bagnall said arbitration service ACAS would be contacted with the union available for talks to settle the six-week dispute ''at all times.''

Pickets today claimed support for the strike remained virtually solid at two of Wade's three sites.

One worker said: ''We are determined to see this through. We want a settlement and it is frustrating that no-one seems to be talking.''

A further strike is planned for tomorrow. Wade's would not comment today.


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