Tuesday, 24 October, 2017

Royal Mail wins High Court injunction preventing planned strike action

Royal Mail worker Image Royal Mail says its pay and pension offers are industry-leading
Sammy Stanley | 13 October, 2017, 16:16

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

Communication Workers' Union members were set to walk out at 11am on 19 October in a protest over pay, pensions and jobs.

"Royal Mail notes that, in a ballot in 2014 on all the provisions of the Agenda for Growth agreement including the dispute resolution procedures, 94.5% of CWU members that cast their votes voted "Yes".

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

The hearing at the High Court in London was scheduled to start at 10:30 am this morning.

The judged ruled that pressing ahead with the strike without following the dispute resolution procedures, which include involving an external party to mediate on talks, would be unlawful.

The firm said it expected the process to take until Christmas and added: "We are very committed to working closely with the CWU in order to reach agreement as a matter of priority". It gave the union until the following Monday to withdraw the action or it would lodge an application with the High Court.

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"Royal Mail Group management have clearly moved away from the spirit and intent of our agreements and the empty promises of privatisation, and have suffered a huge vote of no confidence from their employees and CWU members as a outcome".

In a statement issued yesterday, the CWU said it was "extremely disappointed at the ruling" and referred to Royal Mail's actions as "nothing more than a desperate delaying tactic from a board who are increasingly out of touch with the views of its workforce".

Threats for strike action were first made when Royal Mail announced in April that it would be closing its £7.4bn defined benefit pension scheme to accrual in March 2018.

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.

CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: "The company are deluded if they believe their courtroom politics will resolve this dispute".

"Postal workers' attitude towards the company will harden and it makes us more determined than ever to defend our members' pensions, jobs, service and achieve our objectives".

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