Royal Mail is today making an application to the High Court for an interim order to prevent the postal union going ahead with its proposed pre-Christmas strike.
Communications Workers Union (CWU) members have voted for a pre-Christmas strike, accusing bosses of failing to live up to an agreement reached last year over issues including pay and conditions. Royal Mail wrote to the CWU last Tuesday saying that if the union offers a commitment to remove the threat of strike action for the rest of 2019 it will enter into talks without any other preconditions. However, CWU rejected this offer.
Royal Mail believes there are potential irregularities in the postal ballot of Royal Mail employees for industrial action, which would render it unlawful. It is therefore is making a High Court application because ”the integrity and legal soundness of any electoral process is vital”.
A statement from the company added: “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.”
Royal Mail is seeking a High Court order that the ballot, which opened on 24 September 2019 and closed on 15 October 2019, was unlawful and, therefore, null and void. Royal Mail is asking that, until CWU has conducted a lawful ballot that results in a vote in favour of industrial action, it will not be able to serve notice of any action on Royal Mail.
The company expects its application to be heard in the High Court in the week commencing 11 November.
The CWU has been contacted for comment.