This intervention of the unions and the questions being asked are not restricted to national issues, but form part of an international coordination and response to global investment issues.
The private equity industry needs to do more than follow suit. The British Venture Capital Association (BVCA) has made a timely intervention into the debate by announcing the formation of a working party to devise a code of conduct for the industry. However, by the time it has reached its conclusions and implemented a voluntary code of conduct, how far behind the international critique will the industry become?
Private equity is a global industry with global players - individual transactions may be governed by the legal framework of particular jurisdictions, but that is no reason to divide the industry along national lines. A degree of coordination by the whole industry may not be easy, but it may prove to be in the best interests of all concerned to avoid the situation where, in the face of criticism, private equity is permanently in a defensive 'catch-up' mode.
The interesting thing is that it is written by someone from a law firm. From a quick trawl of their website it seems that they get involved in deals involving both companies and financial institutions, which probably explains their desire to keep the PE party going.