Royal Mail wins injunction against CWU strikes

The postal strike on October 19 and 20 has been called off
Credit
Andrew Milligan

Royal Mail's application for an injunction to stop the planned industrial action by members of the Communications Workers Union (CWU) is set to be heard in court this morning.

As previously reported, the CWU members have voted for industrial action, with a 48-hour walkout scheduled to start on 19 October.

The company has written to the CWU invoking a "legally binding external mediation process", and reiterating that any industrial action would be unlawful.

We'll update this post as we know more.

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But CWU deputy general secretary Terry Pullinger slammed Royal Mail for "playing politics" rather than engaging with the union to reach an agreement.

The CWU has accused Royal Mail of carrying out a "relentless" programme of cost-cutting to maximise short-term profits and shareholder returns. 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 company claimed that under an agreement with the union the CWU must enter mediation with Royal Mail before embarking on industrial action.

"We are very committed to working closely with the CWU in order to reach agreement as a matter of priority", the firm said.

Speaking outside the court, Mr Ward said there was now a timeframe for a round of external mediation, adding: "We believe that still means we can take action before Christmas".

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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.

"CWU members voted by a momentous 89.1% in favour of industrial action in defence of secure pay, pensions and the future of the service".

Update: 17:50: Here's a video from Royal Mail explains that it's business as usual as negotiations continue.

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