Lack of attention to data quality has cost the RMT (signal workers) union dearly. They had planned to hold a national rail strike in the UK, but Network Rail found flaws in their ballot, and on April 2nd the High Court ruled that the strike could not go ahead. Network Rail had claimed that the irregularities affected almost 300 votes or potential votes in the ballot. The irregularities are all issues of data quality, though their impact on the ballot outcome is variable:
• Balloting 11 signal boxes that have been closed for years, including one destroyed by arson
• Recording more votes than employees in 67 locations
• Failing to ballot 26 workplaces involving 100 staff
• Balloting 12 locations where staff were ineligible to vote
The union claim on their web site “that Network Rail may have provided the High Court with false information today in their efforts to convince the Court of their case“. Hmm, does that just point to more bad data at the RMT?
See http://www.newstatesman.com/business/2010/04/rail-strike-planned-judge, http://www.networkrail.co.uk/aspx/6746.aspx, http://patrickhenrypress.info/node/173781, http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/rail-strike-fight-high-court-ruling-due-skynews-63fa5c7f6120.html?x=0 for more.