Royal Mail seek injunction to prevent Christmas strikes

8 November 2019, 09:29

The company is seeking to prevent a strike in December
The company is seeking to prevent a strike in December. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Royal Mail is seeking a High Court injunction after the postal body claimed there were "irregularities" in a ballot which led to strikes being called in December.

The company will go to the High Court on Friday seeking an order to stop workers from walking out after union members voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action.

The dispute between workers and management stems from a dispute over job security and employment terms and conditions.

More than 97% of CWU members in Royal Mail Group, not including Parcelforce members, voted for strike action.

Royal Mail said: "The company is making this High Court application because the integrity and legal soundness of any electoral process is vital.

"This is particularly the case in relation to potential industrial action around the General Election on 12 December 2019. Royal Mail is also making this application because of the damage industrial action would do to the company and its customers in the run-up to Christmas."

The union criticised Royal Mail for going to the courts rather than negotiating. They said the dispute could only be settled in "serious negotiations not in court rooms."

But Royal Mail said: "The company believes the evidence demonstrates that CWU officials, including co-ordination and direction at a senior level, have planned and orchestrated breaches of their legal obligations."

It added bosses have found "at least 72" UK sites where staff were being asked to intercept and remove their ballot papers from mail coming into their delivery offices, before they were delivered to their homes.

The company added it had evidence of workers "being instructed to vote "yes" and being encouraged to do so in groups; and being encouraged to open their ballot papers on site, mark them as "yes", with their colleagues present and filming or photographing them doing so, before posting their ballots together at their workplace postboxes."

Royal Mail's procedures state employees cannot open their mail at delivery offices without the prior authorisation of their manager.