Royal Mail is seeking a High Court injunction against a planned peak season postal strike, on the basis that the strike ballot was “unlawful and, therefore, null and void”.
Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action last month, over concerns relating to job security, workload, and plans to separate Royal Mail and Parcelforce. 97.1% of voters, of a 75.9% turnout of 100,000 staff, supported the strike, while two ballots of Parcelforce workers achieved similar results.
However, Royal Mail claims that it has not failed to adhere to an employment deal made last year, as it has been accused, and therefore there are no grounds for action.
The company also claims that members were pressured into voting for the action: “being encouraged to open their ballot papers on site, mark them as ‘yes’, with their colleagues present and filming or photographing them doing so, before posting their ballots together at their workplace postboxes.”
Credit: Siarhei Plashchynski
The CWU, which has not yet set any strike dates, responded: “It will be clear to all our members and everybody connected with Royal Mail and this dispute, that the chief executive and his board will go to any lengths to deny the democratic mandate of our members to stand together and fight for their future and the very future of UK postal services.”
Royal Mail has refused to enter talks without preconditions unless the threat of industrial action is called off.
Source: BBC News
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