Royal Mail confirms High Court injunction over unlawful CWU ballot

By Chris Dawson November 13, 2019 - 7:02 pm

Below we reproduce Royal Mail’s statement confirming winning an interim High Court injunction over unlawful CWU ballot:

Royal Mail confirms the High Court has today ruled that CWU’s postal ballot of Royal Mail employees for industrial action (‘the ballot’) was unlawful. The interim injunction means no industrial action can be taken before the completion of a lawful ballot, resulting in a vote in favour of industrial action, and formal notification to the Company of any action.

Royal Mail’s application to the High Court did not apply to employees within Parcelforce Worldwide. Its employees are the subject of separate ballot notices.

“We did not take the decision to go to the High Court lightly. We sought to reach resolution outside the courts. We asked CWU to confirm it would refrain from taking industrial action, based on clear evidence of planned and orchestrated breaches by CWU officials of their legal obligations. CWU declined to do so, and we then had no option but to resort to legal action.
It is vital that our colleagues are able to vote without any constraint imposed on them by any other party. The trade union legislation is designed to safeguard democratic integrity by ensuring union members can vote in the privacy of their own homes, rather than in any public process. We are writing to the CWU to ask it to undertake a full internal review of its processes.
We stand ready to engage with the CWU. If the union provides a binding commitment to remove the threat of strike action for the rest of 2019, we will enter into discussions without preconditions. A binding commitment from the CWU to remove the threat of strike action during the period of any general election is vital.”

– Shane O’Riordain, managing director of regulation and corporate affairs, Royal Mail

Honouring our Agreements

Royal Mail remains committed to its Agreements with CWU. It stands ready to invest £1.8 billion to “turnaround and grow” the UK. Royal Mail wants to deliver its five-year plan to break the cycle of decline and grow the UK business. This is against a backdrop of UK letter volumes declining by around 50 per cent since their peak in the early 2000s.

“Since our 2018 Agreement, we have honoured two pay awards and the first hour of the shorter working week. This is an effective pay increase of ten per cent for our hardworking frontline colleagues. Over 99 per cent of our UK employees are on permanent contracts, employed directly by Royal Mail. They receive very competitive salary and benefits.
There has been a great deal of unfounded, and unhelpful, speculation about job losses. We have always said, in terms of the number of people we employ, that we will be a smaller company in the future. But, if we can successfully deliver our plan, there will be a job for any of our people who can and want to work for Royal Mail. We will continue to deliver change without compulsory redundancy, in line with our agreements. We have a strong track record in this respect.
We have a plan to extend our network to deliver more parcels, more efficiently and effectively. This means delivering more parcels through our usual combined delivery of letters and parcels. We also want to tap into the growing demand for larger parcels and next day items. We want to do this by processing them separately and delivering them through a discrete van delivery network. Taken together, these developments will help us to return our UK business, where profits have fallen for the last four years, to growth.

– Shane O’Riordain, managing director of regulation and corporate affairs, Royal Mail

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