A kind of hyper-attentive pedantry is the lifeblood of the Unions, making sure they fully exercise every last one of their myriad 'rights', and making sure that the employers are held to every single one of their obligations.
What's that? The heating's 2 degrees too low? Everybody out. Did he just imply in that memo that you were not hardworking? Everybody out. Do you realise that under subclause 126.96.36.199.6, you may not ask a member if he/she is feeling unwell? Everybody out.
So, it must be extra galling for the owners of the Labour party, the Unite Trade Union, when that particular trick is turned on them.
The Militant Snack Vendors (copyright Al Jahom) of British Airways thought they were going to get a few days off this week - lovely, what with the sun finally appearing and all. But sadly for them and their tans, Willie Walsh's legal people have spotted a flaw in their plan.
Apparently, they didn't announce the results of their ballot in exactly the right, carefully defined way, and as a result, they can't go ahead with the strike.
Yes, just hours before staff were due to start the first of four five-day walkouts, the High Court ruled that
"..the strike would breach the 1992 Trade Union Act because Unite's attempts to inform members of the poll result were inadequate"
In his ruling, Mr Justice McCombe said:
"I am unable to say it is sufficiently clear that the union took the steps required by law at the time they were required."
Marc Meryon, 'industrial relations partner' (what?) on behalf of BA, can't help a little gloat:.
"It shows that the law is very technical and that the unions have to work hard to comply with it. But that is part of the price they pay for some of the privileges that they have under the act, including the right to call strikes without liability for the damage which they cause."
Are Unite spitting feathers? You bet. The joint general secretaries of Unite, Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson - presumably speaking in unison, or perhaps one spoke and one did harmony) -said:
"This judgment is an absolute disgrace and will rank as a landmark attack on free trade unionism and the right to take industrial action. Its implication is that it is now all but impossible to take legally protected strike action against any employer who wishes to seek an injunction on even the most trivial grounds."
Bob Crow, that paragon of decency and reason, chimes in:
"Today's decision effectively outlaws strike action. It's another turn of the screw of the anti-union laws."
To which the only considered, reasoned response can be ...
Boo-fucking-hoo. Back to work, boys 'n' girls.