Royal Mail and CWU having their day in court

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

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

A ballot of the CWU's 110,000 members produced an 89% vote in favour of strike, with a 74% turnout.

The Agenda for Growth is an agreement between the company and its employees.

Last week, the CWU notified Royal Mail of its intention to strike for the first time since the 501-year-old firm was privatised in 2013.

The CWU in turn claimed it has been attempting to find a solution to the dispute for 18 months. Instead, the company's actions will have the complete opposite effect.

A spokesman said they expected fresh talks to begin "immediately", adding: 'We are extremely disappointed at the ruling and we have no doubt our members and representatives will feel the same way.

The mass walkout - the first planned by workers at the company since it was privatised - could now be pushed back by at least nine weeks.

Granting the injunction, Mr Justice Supperstone 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". It subsequently filed an injunction on Monday with the High Court.

The Labour MP Gill Furniss also pledged her support for the union, telling the protest: "Despite the draconian laws imposed on workers, the CWU well surpassed the thresholds and sent a clear message to the company".

But the company said the strike would be "unlawful" if the Communication Workers Union (CWU) did not follow dispute resolution procedures.

However, Royal Mail has argued that it would be illegal for the CWU to coordinate a strike until the contractual external mediation process has been followed.

'But sooner rather than later Royal Mail Group will have to confront the harsh reality that they are completely out of touch with the views of its workforce'.

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

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