The Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act of 1875 represented a breakthrough in the history of trade unions, which had been the object of repression through the first half of the nineteenth century, most famously in the case of the 1834 Tolpuddle Martyrs. Although steps had been taken to legalise unions in 1871, this 1875 Act, along with its contemporaneous companion, the Employers and Workmen Act, fully decriminalised trade union activity. The significance of this 'Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act' was that it stated that in legal terms, unions should be treated like individuals: if an act would be legal for an individual, it should be also deemed legal for a union. As a result, trade union disputes could be considered in c…
Editors. "Trade Disputes Act". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 August 2013; last revised .
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=2058, accessed 30 May 2015.]