Friday, 15 December, 2017

Royal Mail's High Court injunction blocks postal workers stirke

Royal Mail Video Union does not rule out Christmas strikes
Conrad Doyle | 12 October, 2017, 20:28

Royal Mail workers had meant to strike over pensions, pay and jobs.

Royal Mail has won a High Court injunction preventing next week's 48-hour strike by postal workers.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) had planned a 48-hour strike, scheduled to start on 19 October.

Royal Mail, which was privatised in 2013, is trying to modernise after years of underinvestment and has reduced layers of management, upgraded technology and cut its property bill.

David Jinks, the head of consumer research from rival parcel firm ParcelHero, said: "If industrial action goes into the seasonal period it will have a huge impact".

Members of the CWU voted overwhelmingly in favour of strikes last week.

In the wake of the ruling, Royal Mail said it would make contact with the CWU "as a matter of urgency".

More than 100 postal workers including Dave Ward, the CWU's general secretary, gathered outside the high court for the verdict.

The postal services company said the United Kingdom higher court has ruled that contractual dispute resolution procedures under the Agenda for Growth must be followed before industrial action can take place.

"We want an agreement and will comply with the injunction to undertake further external mediation".

Mr Justice Supperstone, who granted the injunction, said: "I consider the strike call to be unlawful and the defendant is obliged to withdraw its strike call until the external mediation process has been exhausted".

CWU disagreed, calling Royal Mail's legal challenge "underhanded" and "a deliberate attempt to misinterpret and use the agreement to stop postal workers exercising our right to strike".

The CWU said, however, that it would call a strike as soon as the mediation period closed if no agreement was reached.

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