Clear Mandate?

BAA staff vote for strike action: Staff at airport operator BAA vote three-to-on in favour of strike action that could close Heathrow and five other UK airports. (BBC News)

As a former staff association representative, I have some knowledge about the intricacy and delicacy of industrial relations. Active and affective negotiation is usually the key to satisfaction, for both sides of the argument. That said, when you have no right to strike (as with the police), you tend to negotiate a little harder. Sometimes you also need to compromise because, you can’t actually hold your employer (and the public) to ransom. Unlike the UNITE union!

UNITE say that a 1.5% pay offer is “measly”. That may be so however, what about those destined to get nothing this year and. I’m also confused by the union claim of having a clear mandate for industrial action… Less than 50% of the workforce bother to vote and then only 74.1% of them vote for strike action… That’s a clear mandate?

It appears to me the union executive may well have some hidden political agenda or other, especially as UNITE is one of the biggest Labour Party supporters within the Trade Union movement. The circumstances presented so far are unlikely to endear their cause to the travelling public.

ACAS may have summoned both sides to the negotiating table however, they probably won’t find a way forward that is acceptable to both parties… I suppose that’s democracy in action for you?

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