Royal Mail wins legal injunction to block strike

Royal Mail wins legal injunction to block strike

The Royal Mail has won a court injunction halting a planned 48-hour strike by postal workers but still faces the threat of industrial action before Christmas.

Mr Justice Supperstone blocked the strike after Royal Mail bosses argued it could not could take place unless the Communication Workers Union first sat down for lengthy arbitration talks, an agreement they signed up to four years ago.

"We are very committed to working closely with the CWU in order to reach agreement as a matter of priority", the firm said.

Union leaders say they have been trying to find a solution to the impasse for 18 months.

When CWU did not call it off, Royal Mail lodged an injunction with the High Court, which was heard this morning.

The company has written to the CWU invoking a "legally binding external mediation process", and reiterating that any industrial action would be unlawful.

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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".

'We will now make contact with the union as a matter of urgency to begin the process of external mediation.

Last week, 89% of the CWU's 111,000 workers backed a walkout in a dispute over pensions, pay and jobs, with 74% of members turning out to vote.

'Instead the company's actions will have the complete opposite effect.

"Postal workers delivered a massive "Yes" vote for strike action and we are determined to take whatever steps are necessary to deliver an agreement that will protect and enhance our members' terms and conditions and improve the range of services on offer to customers", he said.

Royal Mail responded to the announcement by calling the action "illegal".

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