Monday, May 17, 2010

Court's outrageous decision against UNITE

UNITE union members working at British Airways were due to go on strike from midnight tonight but a court has just ruled that the ballot was illegal and therefore the strike could not take place.

What grievous crime had they committed? Ballot stuffing perhaps? Or had they refused to allow a number of no votes because of ticks rather than crosses? No.

The Sun tells us that "BA had argued a technicality that Unite had not "properly complied" with the requirement to "send everyone eligible to vote details of the exact breakdown of the ballot result". The judge said: "I am unable to say it is sufficiently clear that the union took the steps required by law at the time they were required.""

The "exact breakdown" is code for the fact that they had not told their members of the eleven spoiled ballots of the thousands that were cast. Everyone knew the result, these spoiled ballots had no impact on the outcome nor, in fact, did they have any significant interest to members.

Yet this was enough to call off a democratically decided strike action and cost the union thousands correcting the 'error'. On top of the court ruling against the RMT it's quickly becoming clear that the courts are becoming increasingly willing to prevent workers taking strike action even when they have taken a proper ballot to do so.

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