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Royal Mail applies for injunction to prevent postal strike

10th October 2017

Royal Mail van

The Royal Mail has confirmed that it will apply for a High Court injunction in a bid to prevent its postal workers from going on strike.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has voted to strike for 48 hours from Thursday 19 October due to an ongoing dispute over pension reforms, jobs and wages.

However, the Royal Mail has warned that the CWU has not yet engaged in adequate dispute resolution efforts, which they say would make the strike “unlawful”, as reported by the BBC.

The CWU’s response to the impending legal action has so far been defiant, with general secretary Dave Ward claiming that the tactic “shows how desperate they [Royal Mail] are”. Ward added that “instead of playing court room politics, they should be listening to the overwhelming ballot result”.

Ward was referring to a recent ballot of 110,000 CWU members which resulted in an 89.1% vote in favour of strike action from a 73.7% turnout. Ward’s deputy, Terry Pullinger, commented that trying to prevent the strike going ahead after such a clear mandate from the CWU workforce “will only anger members further”.

“The plan in its current form is unaffordable”

The Royal Mail has not disputed that the changes it is proposing to the postal workforce’s pension packages are less generous than they currently are but insists that the move is necessary for the company’s survival.

According to a Royal Mail spokesperson, “we have never hidden the fact that benefits members build up in the future will be smaller than they are now. That is because, unfortunately, the plan in its current form is unaffordable”.

The High Court representatives tasked with deciding whether to grant the Royal Mail’s injunction may well feel that it is one of the most significant London lawyer jobs they have taken on in recent years. This is because it relates to the first nationwide industrial ballot since the introduction of last year’s Trade Union Act, which requires a 50% turnout for strike action to be legally permitted.

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