I am due to fly to Aberdeen this weekend, so I was initially delighted that the High Court had ruled that the planned strike by flight attendants at BA could not go ahead. In addition, based on his regular presentations on the Today programme on Radio 4, I am not a big fan of Unite’s joint leader, Tony Woodley. However, with the caveat that I have not read the complete judgement, I feel concerned given the reports that the basis of the injunction was the failure to adequately notify union members of the results of the ballot.
It seems that the distribution of results via postings in crew rooms, on the union website and in a union newsletter, was insufficient. This strikes me as both illogical and unnecessarily pedantic, and creates the impression that legislation is overly onerous in respect of the obligations it places on unions. At the least, it seems that the union acted in a reasonable and transparent manner.
One of the strengths of our constitutional arrangements is a separation of powers, and it must be absolutely clear that the judiciary is wholly independent and not aligned with any interest group, no matter what might be most convenient for us as individuals.
Updated (20 May 2010): Today it’s been announced that a panel of senior judges, including the Lord Chief Justice, has overturned a ban on industrial action. Despite the fact that I have travel plans that are now likely to be disrupted, I can’t help feeling that this is a good thing. Let’s hope that they start negotiating now, rather than litigating.