Royal Mail wins injunction against CWU strikes

By Dan Wilson October 12, 2017 - 4:24 pm

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 18:03: Here is more detail from Tamebay on how the mediation timeline might work with reference to the Agenda for Growth.

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.

  • Me
    11 months ago

    Matter of urgency youve had 18 months 😴😴😴

  • Andy R
    11 months ago

    Dave Ward should resign. He’s incited his union into an illegal strike and did not even bother to check the legal position before ballotting. This has now been confirmed in the courts and under any analysis Dave Ward’s position is now untenable.

    This isn’t a loophole or technicality, it’s what both sides signed up to at privatisation.

    But in their frenzied rush to strike, Ward seemingly could not even be bothered to ring up a solicitor to check if what they were doing was legal.

    Now there will be a charade of a process, in which the union will make no effort to reach agreement.

    But at least it means the honest, decent, hard-working people of this country will get their Christmas post.

  • Snowy
    11 months ago

    Nothing has changed, no formal strike, but they are in dispute and will be working to rule and probably no overtime. Looks like months of disrupted post is heading our way.

    • 11 months ago

      No overtime?

      I can see why that could happen, but as others have said, why would somebody on a low wage want to earn less, especially heading towards Christmas.

      Do you not have families to support / feed?

      I am sure Dave Ward will be having a good feast as will his family.

  • Mac
    11 months ago

    Probably plenty of overtime Snowy. Telling people who think they are not paid enough not to do overtime in the run up to Christmas? Union may try, actually getting members to agree is something else.

    Union doing illegal strike? Sure I have heard of that before. Whatever happened to those miners?

    Disrupted post just pushes more of us to use alternate suppliers for the service required.
    Would not surprise me if the couriers came up with decent additional services to compete as a result.

  • Paula
    11 months ago

    Andy R you can quote all the stuff you like the ballot still stands and Royal mails injuction doesn’t change anything , in fact Royal Mail are more likely to not Reach an agreement until well after Christmas that is their whole plan , take it out of the public eye but behind the scenes it will be chaos uso failures all over the country that you probably won’t know about , this injunction is no different to a strike for us customers yet you seem to think this is some kind of victory !

  • 11 months ago

    If you want to use alternative companies for your service, then do people come up with the usual claptrap and comments, when you know nothing of the full picture.these workers are battling for their livelihoods,their pensions and for the future of all workers who are treated like third class guessing you are Tories, because you don’t seem to understand what working class talk of honest decent hard working people,what do you think postmen/women are?no wonder this country is in the hands of people like you who don’t give a damn when workers are just fighting for their rights.God help us if management win this argument because working class people will cease to exist.

    • JD
      11 months ago

      Sellers will use whatever service will consistently deliver to buyers at the right price.
      It is of little interest to sellers, who are themselves workers (take note), that the reason for failure at the Royal Mail may be either Management or Trade Union.
      It might appear to some that RM employees are being led by those with Fourth International ideals whilst RM Management are stuck in some sort of latter day feudalism.
      It behoves both sides to realise that we operate in the 21st Century and all that entails.
      If I had to pick sides then I would have to say that the Union are not currently realistic in their aspirations.

    • Stuart
      11 months ago

      What about the ‘normal’ people running a business that depend on Royal Mail for their deliveries.

      You may well be ‘fighting’ for your pensions etc but it’s often and more likely the case that your moving out of the private sector where these things are seen as normal and a god given right.

      You find the vast number of people working in this country are working their arses off and don’t get all these benefits that private sector works get.

      I myself am self employed, I will get nothing when I retire unless I organise it myself and when other companies outside of mine cost my business money or customers that makes it look even less likely I can save for it.

      Strike action never solves anything, talking and being reasonable does!!!

    • 11 months ago

      Not “claptrap” at all, when you lose a service that you rely on you look at alternatives.

      I have seen so much “claptrap” on here and other forums, from supposed postmen, talking about how bad other couriers are and how we can’t live without RM, but, other couriers handle millions of parcels each week, with thousands of happy business customers.

      Sure, many people will return to use Royal Mail, but how many will not?

      Small users like myself will probably stay, but people that spend £100,000 a year with Royal Mail will be offered incentives by the courier companies to stay with them, why should they return?

      For those that do, it probably won’t be in a hurry as you will have so much back log.

      Lost business is bad for business, by all means, fight for your jobs, but make sure you have a job to go back to. Whilst you will have in the short term, action like this will jeopardise future business and give Royal Mail a bad name. – A slippery slope for any business.

  • Peter
    11 months ago

    I find the posties logging into these forums and pretending to be punters amusing. The union don’t want mediation as they know that the changes that Royal Mail are making are for the most part absolutely necessary. The current pension scheme they have is unsustainable and if it’s not changed then in the not too distant future retiring Royal Mail staff will find they have nothing to claim.
    The union has absolutely embarassed itself here and I think it’s members know that, both my local postman and the guy who collects my mail told me before the high court judgement that they felt the union would lose. On top of that, the pension changes the Royal Mail is trying to make have already been implemented at the CWU. I’m not a Tory but the recent trade union acts were totally necessary to stop idiots like Dave Ward creating problems simply to justify their own cushy number.

    11 months ago

    This disupute is nothing more than a Labour sponsored event, Corbyn is on the rise and Unions are playing their part, how can a company with available cash of £400 millions pounds be expected to pay £800 million next year, and £1.2 billion the year after towards the pensions scheme. If they dont resolve this then there wont be any jobs to fight for, Royal Mail will be gone for good.

  • Mac
    11 months ago

    S.b – we know the full picture of our own businesses.
    Why would we be willing for an internal dispute within royal mail to cost us money?
    We have to think of our own businesses, our own staff, our own bills which need paying whether CWU win or lose.

    Provide the service the customers want or someone else will do so for you. Business owners usually understand this, we know some royal mail staff do not.

    I for one do not want to ever tell my staff sorry you are having a couple of days off without pay because the delivery company refuses to work for a couple of days.

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