Daily archives: May 17, 2010

A Man Who May Not Withdraw His Labour is a Slave

I am extremely worried by the judicial activism involved in a series of decisions to prevent strikes. This year both Unite and RMT have been prevented from holding strikes, amid general undisguised establishment glee that workers have not been allowed to go on strike.

In today’s judgement against Unite (and for British Airways), there was no dispute that union members had genuinely voted to go on strike. But they had been notified of the result of the ballot by posted notices, and the court ruled that this did not meet the requirement that all members must be individually notified of the result.

In this country, posting a notice is sufficient notification to the neighbours if you apply for planning permission to build something next to them, and posting a notice is sufficient notification to the community if you plan to get married. The judicial ruling in no way follows the spirit of the law, which is intended to ensure that union members democratically vote on strikes. They did.

Free marketeers are quite wrong to crow over this blow to Unite. If you believe in the free market, you must believe that a contract is freely negotiated between master and employee. The employee must have the right to withdraw his labour.

An employee forbidden by the state to withdraw his labour is a slave. It really is that simple.

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British Hotel Rip Off

Having travelled exensively around the globe, I have never found anywhere where hotels offer such poor value for money as the UK. One thing that particularly annoys me is a charge for guests to access the internet.

I was annoyed enough when I was staying in the Dundee Hilton at £110 a night, and being charged another £10 for internet access. But here in the Coorwne Plaza in Birmingham I am paying £130 a night, yet being chraged another £15,99 for internet access.

Complete rip-off. I would certainly never advise anybody to visit the UK on holiday.

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