CWU tells employer to actually address members’ concerns
MAIL bosses should ditch “court-room politics” and listen to posties, a major union said yesterday as bosses sought an injunction against the first national post strike since privatisation.
Royal Mail executives called on the High Court to crush the 48-hour walkout, which will begin on October 19. They say a “legally binding external mediation process” agreed when the post was privatised in 2013 means the strike is unlawful.
The company, which is facing fierce opposition to changes to its pension scheme, gave the Communication Workers Union ( CWU) until midday yesterday to call off the strike.
When the union refused to do so, bosses said they were applying for an injunction to “prevent industrial action so that the contractual external mediation process can be followed.”
The CWU said bosses had originally issued an additional letter alleging the union “failed to take reasonable steps to notify our members of the ballot result.” Officials said the company had subsequently withdrawn its threat for legal action on this basis.
CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: “The fact Royal Mail Group has tried multiple angles to stop our members exercising their democratic right to take strike action shows how desperate it is.
“Instead of playing court-room politics they should be listening to the overwhelming ballot result.
“We call on the public and businesses across the country to back their postal workers in what was always going to be a watershed dispute.”
Bosses are trying to scrap the current defined benefit pension scheme, replacing it with what the union describe as a “cash-out” programme. The union has put forward its own proposal for a “wage in retirement” scheme.
Posties are also calling for the protection of terms and conditions and a 35-hour working week.
But are likely to believe the strike will be less disruptive if they can delay it until after Christmas — which is the Royal Mail’s busiest time of year.
But CWU deputy general secretary Terry Pullinger countered: “This dispute was never about Christmas, it’s about protecting our members and this great public service and it will take as long as it takes. We will defend our members through whatever means necessary.”