Royal Mail gears up to challenge ‘watershed’ strike in court

Postal workers will walk out on 19 October for two-day strike

In a dispute that could threaten postal delays at Christmas, Royal Mail workers are set to stage a 48-hour strike in a dispute over pensions, pay and jobs. As many as 111,000 postal workers will walk out at noon on 19 October after massively voting in favour of taking industrial action, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) says.

The industrial action follows the 89.1 per cent vote in favour of the strike as announced by the union this week. It will be the first strike at Royal Mail since the postal group was privatized.

Royal Mail has stated it will use all legal options, including applying for a High Court injunction, to prevent this. “We believe any strike action before the dispute resolution procedures have been followed would be unlawful,” a spokesman from the group added.

Calling it a “watershed” dispute, General secretary Dave Ward said it will “determine not only our members’ pensions, jobs and pay but also the future of the service.”

The union has alleged that the postal group’s move of replacing the pension scheme would force its members to lose up to a third of their retirement entitlements. “We are determined to take whatever steps are necessary to deliver an agreement that will protect and enhance our member’s terms and conditions and improve the range of services on offer to customers,” Ward added.

Talking about how Royal Mail is suffering from a huge vote of no confidence from its employees, Terry Pullinger, CWU deputy general secretary, said that they had been in negotiations with the company for 18 months.

“Royal Mail Group management have clearly moved away from the spirit and intent of our agreements and the empty promises of privatisation…,” Pullinger said.

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