Royal Mail and CWU having their day in court

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Royal Mail blocked a strike by Communications Workers Union members on Thursday, winning a High Court injunction preventing action during the crucial pre-Christmas delivery period. Staff were also considering action during the Black Friday retail sales event next month or during the festive season.

Last week, the CWU notified Royal Mail of its intention to strike for the first time since the 501-year-old firm was privatised in 2013.

The CWU maintains it has been attempting to find a solution to the dispute for 18 months.

The Agenda for Growth is an agreement between the company and its employees. The vote was a test for the union after the introduction of the Trade Union Act, which requires strike ballots to have a 50% turnout. The last mass industrial action among postal workers was in 2009. The judged ruled that pressing ahead with the strike without following the dispute resolution procedures, which include involving an external party to mediate on talks, would be unlawful. It subsequently filed an injunction on Monday with the High Court.

He said: "The company are deluded if they believe their courtroom politics will resolve this dispute. We're going in there with a 90% vote for action and whatever happens today we'll be walking out of here with a 90% vote for action".

The postal services company said the United Kingdom higher court has ruled that contractual dispute resolution procedures under the Agenda for Growth must be followed before industrial action can take place.

Royal Mail said it would now begin the process of external mediation, which is likely to take at least until the end of the year to complete.

"We want an agreement and will comply with the injunction to undertake further external mediation".

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