Interflora petition calls for postal ballot

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The flower power row at Interflora will come to a head later today with the delivery of a 400 signature petition to the association's Sleaford headquarters. The hastily collected petition of member florists will call for a postal ballot on the controversial ousting of the flower delivery group's board at a dramatic extraordinary meeting last Sunday.

Two florists loyal to the 11-strong former board are travelling to Interflora's head office today to personally deliver the signatures, which comfortably exceed the 10 per cent of the association required to insist on a vote.

A ballot is almost certain to restore the ousted board members to power following their dismissal by a minority of members at a meeting packed with rebels. According to the association's articles, a simple majority of voters present at the meeting at Warwick University was enough to throw the board out of office.

Their removal followed a campaign of protest at changes pushed through by Interflora's management to the price of membership of the association, the imposition of minimum standards of service and the standardisation of price ranges and delivery times. Many small florists felt their individuality was being squeezed out by an increasingly authoritarian organisation.

Members were also worried about plans to turn the association into a public company, amid rumours that an American flower delivery business was lining up a bid for Interflora.

The delivery of the demand follows the initial refusal of Interflora's new management to organise the postal vote that former chairman David Parry called in his final act at last Sunday's meeting.