LTB 547/17 - Royal Mail Group dispute – High Court judgment and National Briefing
12th October 2017
TO: ALL POSTAL BRANCHES
Royal Mail Group dispute – High Court judgment and National Briefing
The purpose of this LTB is to provide an update on developments in the Royal Mail dispute, after the CWU and Royal Mail were in the High Court earlier today. We can advise branches, representatives and members that Royal Mail was successful in its application for an interim injunction, which the union strongly opposed in court.
The interim injunction instructs the union to withdraw the notice of planned strike action next week and to enter into further external mediation, which would need to conclude before the union can call any further action. Following a decision of the union’s Postal Executive we will be complying with the terms of the interim injunction and a letter has been sent to Royal Mail confirming this and withdrawing the notice for strike action on 19th – 21st October.
Accordingly all branches must, with immediate effect, deploy all means at their disposal including on CWU noticeboards, email, text messages, social media e.g. branch, Facebook and twitter accounts, to inform all members that the industrial action called for the 19th, 20th and 21st October 2017 inclusive is cancelled.
In defending the case in court, while we firmly believe Royal Mail to be abusing the terms of our agreement, it has become clear that the legal test for obtaining an injunction turns upon which party is likely to suffer the greatest financial damage in the event that it is either granted or denied.
The CWU is extremely disappointed at the ruling and we have no doubt our members and representatives will feel the same way. Following 18 months of negotiations, including external mediation, the company’s actions are nothing more than a desperate delaying tactic from a board who are increasingly out of touch with the views of its workforce.
It is now crucial that all our representatives and members see today’s ruling in the context of the wider dispute. Legal proceedings and Royal Mail’s court room politics will not solve the company’s problems. The union has nothing to fear from mediation and unless there is significant movement from the company on a range of issues and a satisfactory agreement is concluded, the union will be calling further strike action once the mediation process has been completed. Furthermore, we will not allow Royal Mail to string out the process beyond the required period.
In light of these developments the union is calling a national briefing on Thursday 19th October next week at the TUC where we will provide a full update on the legal proceedings and set out our next steps. Branches are asked to make attendance at this a priority.
We recognise that today’s ruling will be viewed as a setback. However, we believe that once the dust has settled our members’ attitude towards the employer will harden. Furthermore, the result makes us more determined than ever to hold the company to account and deliver an excellent agreement for CWU members that achieves our objectives. In this regard we know our members will continue to support the union in whatever steps we need to take.
Any enquiries regarding the legal proceedings should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Any queries in relation to next week’s national briefing and the wider dispute should be addressed to the Deputy General Secretary (Postal) – email@example.com
Dave Ward – General Secretary
Tony Kearns – Senior Deputy General Secretary
Terry Pullinger – Deputy General Secretary (Postal)