Good for the Goose….

Idiot is upset.

… But amendments made by the select committee have gone further; rather than simply saying “unions must be democratic”, the bill is now all about allowing employers to challenge the legality of strike action for minor defects of process (as used to thwart strikes in the UK).

“minor defects of process” – gee, I seem to have heard that before!

I guess someone though that if employers should follow the law to the nth degree, then it would only be fair for unions to have the same requirements. After all, they keep telling us how easy it is!

This is going too far. To point out the obvious: whether a voluntary organisation abides by its internal rules is an issue for its members. If your local rugby club, or larp society, or students association fails to conform to its process or purpose, you can take them to court to force them to. But non-members can’t, because they lack standing (they may also lack any interest whatsoever). What this bill does is let non-members barge their way in and challenge decisions which members are perfectly happy with. Its not about democracy at all, but allowing it to be vetoed by outsiders.

Only one problem with his argument – employers are not uninterested spectators. If a union organises a strike it’s the very intention of that action to affect the employers’ business. Employers are just as involved in strike action as fired employees are in their firing.

Now, there are plenty of stories around of union organisers playing dirty and creating a strike where the members would not otherwise have wanted one. I was present at a conversation once when one particularly aggressive union organiser declared that they wanted a strike to put a black mark on the record of the CEO of that organisation.

Idiot talks about “decisions which members are perfectly happy with”. Well, in many cases if the union rules have been broken, it may just be that members are not happy with the decision.

..Like political parties, unions are voluntary organisations. Their decisions should be made democratically by their members – not by non-members. If that’s good enough for political parties, why isn’t it good enough for unions?

Because political parties do not target specific groups when they vote – they pick candidates. No business was ever destroyed because Bob Smith was picked rather than John Blogs.

Unions are being placed under the same obligations that employers have been, the same obligations that they have long told employers are simple to keep “if they really want to” – in spite of all evidence to the contrary.

What’s good for the Goose is Good for the Gander.

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