Royal Mail requests injunction to halt Christmas postal strike

Royal Mail said today (8 November) that it will make an application to the High Court for an injunction to halt a mooted Christmas strike by postal workers.

The delivery company said there were “potential irregularities” in the recent Communication Workers Union (CWU) postal ballot of Royal Mail employees for industrial action, which would render it “unlawful”.

According to Royal Mail, it is making this move because “the integrity and legal soundness of any electoral process is vital”. As well as potential impact on the planned 12 December General Election, the proposed strike would also affect Christmas deliveries and the busiest time of the year for postal workers, it claimed.

The application, which is expected to be heard in the High Court next week, is based on Royal Mail’s claim that the industrial action ballot did not conform to the Trade Unions and Labour Regulations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (TULRCA).

It said TULRCA rules are designed “to safeguard democratic integrity by ensuring union members can vote in the privacy of their own homes, rather than in any public process” – and Royal Mail claims some workers were made to sign for strike action in the presence of colleagues.

The CWU denies the allegations. When the strike action was announced last month, the union said that the 97.1% of workers who voted for industrial action was one of the largest 'yes' votes and one of the biggest turnouts (75%) it had experienced for years.

CWU says the action is centred on job security and working conditions, claiming Royal Mail breached an agreement put forward in 2018 around reducing hours in the working week and plans to launch a separate parcels service.

Royal Mail's injunction application does not apply to employees within Parcelforce Worldwide, who are subject of separate ballot notices.

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