Royal Mail: All legal options will be used to avoid industrial action

Royal Mail: All legal options will be used to avoid industrial action

As the Communication Workers Union (CWU) members prepare to escalate their dispute over pension and pay terms, Royal Mail has reported that it will use all the legal options at its disposal in order to prevent industrial action. In a statement sent to Post&Parcel yesterday (5 October), Royal Mail said that it had received confirmation from the CWU that it is planning two days of industrial disruption at or after 11am on Thursday 19 October to before 11am Saturday 21 October 2017. This follows the CWU’s announcement on 3 October of its ballot result in favour of industrial action.

Royal Mail reiterated that it is “committed to further talks as a matter of urgency to reach agreement with the CWU”.

The postal operator said that it will be writing to the CWU invoking the external mediation process under the dispute resolution procedures in the Agenda for Growth (to which both Royal Mail and CWU made their commitment in 2013).

According to Royal Mail: “These legally-binding dispute resolution procedures were set up as a vehicle to resolve industrial disputes. We wish to use them to do just that. Royal Mail will use all legal options at its disposal, including applying to the High Court for an injunction to prevent industrial action.”

Royal Mail continued:  “External mediation as set out in the Agenda for Growth agreement has not yet taken place. A clear mechanism for instituting these procedures is set out in writing in the Agenda for Growth. It includes: a) Formal notice of a referral to external mediation from one party to the other; b) The appointment of an external mediator through the mutually agreed process and; c) A comprehensive mediation process which includes the mediator preparing a detailed report, including recommendations for both parties. None of these processes have happened yet.”

Tellingly, a Royal Mail spokesperson added: “We believe any strike action before the dispute resolution procedures have been followed would be unlawful strike action.”

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