Royal Mail’s request for a High Court injunction to halt strikes called by the CWU starting on the 19th October at 11am for 48 hours has been granted.
Mr Justice Supperstone granted the injunction and 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.”
Royal Mail said of the ruling: “Royal Mail confirms that the High Court has today ruled that the contractual dispute resolution procedures under the Agenda for Growth must be followed before industrial action can take place. The court’s final injunction means that any strike action before the dispute resolution procedures have been followed would be unlawful.
We will now make contact with the CWU as a matter of urgency to begin the process of external mediation. The mediation process will take close to Christmas to be completed, and may be longer. The first step is selecting a mediator acceptable to Royal Mail and the CWU from a panel that was agreed by both parties under the Agenda for Growth.”
We’ll update this post as we know more.
Update: 17:50: Here’s a video from Royal Mail explains that it’s business as usual as negotiations continue.
Update 19:25: The CWU has posted a statement on its website. You can find the link here. Here it is verbatim:
‘Dispute postponed – not cancelled’
Defiant cheers greeted CWU leaders this afternoon as they vowed to fight on despite a legal ruling against us at the Royal Court of Justice.
Royal Mail’s legal bid for an injunction preventing the union from striking next week was granted by the judge, Justice Supperstone, in a verdict, which our general secretary Dave Ward said would make members “disappointed and angry.”
The company had “acted in bad faith,” said Dave, adding that the injunction granted had set a formal timetable for negotiations and that, unless the company shifted it’s position “significantly and quickly” they would soon have to face “the reality of industrial action.”
Deputy general secretary Terry Pullinger accused the business of “trying to stop the democratic rights of our members. “But they haven’t cancelled this dispute, they’ve just postponed the dispute,” Terry added.
And in a stern warning to the people at the top of Royal Mail, the DGSP (Deputy General Secretary Postal – Ed.) said that unless the renewed negotiations achieved a fair deal, “the industrial action will be back on.”
* the union’s national leadership will meet as soon as possible to discuss the next steps forward.