Masters and Servants Act

Trade Unions were unhappy with the 1825 Combination Act that narrowly defined the rights of trade unions as meeting to bargain over wages and conditions. Anything outside these limits was liable to prosecution as criminal conspiracy in restraint of trade. In 1867 Benjamin Disraeli and his Conservative government agreed to pass the Masters and Servants Act. Under the terms of this act strikers could only be prosecuted for breach of contract, but criminal action could still be brought for what was described as "aggravated cases".