Royal Mail Gives Union Until Monday to Cancel Strikes

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The postal union was given by the Royal Mail until Monday to call off strikes that were organised for later this month, after which it will ask for a legal injunction.

The notice comes after the Communications Workers Union (CWU) said yesterday that it was organising a 48-hour walkout of Royal Mail workers on the 19th of October. This would be the first postal strike since 2009 and the first since the Royal Mail was privatised three years ago.

Earlier this week, members of the CWU overwhelmingly voted in favour of a strike action, with more than 80pc of those voting support on the move on a high turnout.

Royal Mail stated that it was demanding the strikes to be called off and alternately for procedures of dispute resolution to be initiated, which it has stated could take a number of weeks.

It stated that the strike would be a breach of a legally-binding agreement that it signed with the CWU in 2013 under which any dispute must be heightened to external mediation.

“We believe any strike action before the dispute resolution procedures have been followed would be unlawful strike action,” stated Royal Mail in its statement on Friday.

“Royal Mail requested that CWU withdraw its notification of industrial action and commit to following the dispute resolution procedures. If CWU does not withdraw its notice of strike action by 12 noon Monday October 9, Royal Mail will lodge an application with the High Court for an injunction to prevent industrial action,” said Royal Mail.

The said dispute focuses on a suggested change to Royal Mail pensions, which it has stated should help restrict its ballooning deficit.

It has warned that its top-up payment obligation would more than double to £1.26bn in 2018 without any pension reform.

Royal Mail is plotting to move its workers from the current final salary scheme to a new kind of defined benefit scheme, which will have an effect on new members from April next year.

Before the statement on Friday, the CWU claimed that Royal Mail had failed to “engage seriously” with its representatives over working hours, pay, and future job security.