Thursday, 17 December 2009

"disgraceful day for democracy"

"While we have never wanted this dispute, it is a disgraceful day for democracy when a court can overrule such an overwhelming decision by employees taken in a secret ballot" said Unite's joint General Secretaries about their planned British Airways strike (according to this BBC report). I guess the customers, management and shareholders may disagree.
If there were an Interactive Democracy system in place would Unite utilise it to quickly re-run their ballot? Would the shareholders use it to demand management reforms? Would customers use it to call for government intervention? Would someone propose that customers always be compensated by the company in the event of a strike (regardless of the inevitable job losses that may result)?
What is clear is that Unite's claim to democracy doesn't involve the other stake holders that the law may be trying to protect.
On the other hand, the judge seems to have ruled on a technicality - that "Unite had improperly included BA employees already set to leave the company". Many will doubt that the judgment will effect the clear 92.5% majority in favour of the strike, but it may buy customers and negotiators more time.

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