Royal Mail bosses have won a court battle to delay a postal workers’ strike. But the workers are determined to keep fighting—and say bosses’ action has only strengthened their resolve.
Members of the Communications Workers Union had been planning and organising for a 48-hour national strike.
But Royal Mail bosses ran to the high court for an injunction that has delayed the action for at least seven weeks.
They said an agreement signed by CWU leaders in 2013 stops the union from calling national strikes unless they’ve been through five weeks of external mediation.
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.”
It means the CWU will have to take part in five more weeks of talks, and then give another two weeks’ notice, before they can legally strike.
Speaking after the result of the hearing, CWU general secretary Dave Ward said, “Royal Mail are completely and utterly deluded if they believe that courtroom politics are going to resolve this dispute.
“We say to Royal Mail, unless you’re going to reach an agreement that satisfies all the issues that are contained in this dispute and is a good agreement for our members, then you are going to have to confront the harsh reality that industrial action and strike action will take place."
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.”
Union members voted by around 89 percent for strikes.
Mr Ward said, “We walked in here today with a 90 percent yes vote. And we’ve walked out of court with a 90 percent yes vote intact. Royal Mail cannot ignore the size of that ballot result.”