Royal Mail has confirmed it is seeking a High Court injunction to stop the Communications Workers Union’s (CWU) planned postal strike in December, claiming it believes there are “potential irregularities” in the ballot.
Last month, 97% of the workers union voted in favour of a nationwide strike claiming the postal service had failed to adhere to an employment deal agreed last year.
Royal Mail said it is making the injunction as the potential industrial action could take place around the 12 December 2019 and it could affect the integrity and legal soundness of the general election.
It added it is also making the application because of the damage industrial action would do to the company and its customers in the run-up to Christmas.
Management consulting company Bearingpoint has previously revealed the strike could force retailers to attempt to pass on 8.5 million parcels, or 105,000 van loads of parcels to other carriers – which could cost them around £8m in higher postal costs.
It said that it has evidence that some CWU members were “instructed to vote ‘yes’ in the ballot and that they were also “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”.
The CWU has said it “completely rejects and denies” the claims adding that it will contest the claim at the High Court hearing on 12th November 2019.
In a statement CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: “It will be clear to all our members and everybody connected with Royal Mail and this dispute, that the CEO and his board will go to any lengths to deny the democratic mandate of our members to stand together and fight for the very future of UK Postal Services.
“Instead the company are pressing on regardless with their asset stripping plans to set up separate parcels business and let thousands upon thousands of jobs wither on the vine.”