Eastern No 5 Branch
The industrial action planned for 1100am Thursday 19th October to 1100am Saturday 21st October has been cancelled!
Colleagues the LTB below in red, which has gone on display around the building has come from CWU HQ explaining how events took place yesterday in the courts and calls for a national briefing Thursday next week.
Although it’s disappointing Royal Mail won the injunction and successfully stopped us taking industrial action next week you must take the positives out of what has happened.
In fact, when you think about it, we have achieved part of what we set out to achieve without having to go on strike. The fact that 89.1% of 73.7% of those who voted, voted yes which has forced Royal Mail to take the action they did after the union announced the strike dates. Our ballot result was a massive vote of no confidence in Royal Mail’s top management.
I feel this is a positive result because now Royal Mail must take us seriously and negotiate a deal with the help of mediators in the legal time scales set out by the judge or we will go on strike. The time scales involved mean the possibility of strike action would be around the 15th December, smack bang in the middle of Christmas pressure and just after those in the SAYE scheme can cash in their savings. Royal Mail will not want us to take industrial action any time but more so at that time. This puts pressure on Royal Mail to reach an agreement which is a good thing.
There is a CWU National Briefing next Thursday where the officers will provide a full update on the legal proceedings and set out our next steps. Mail Centre Management have kindly agreed for us to be able to relay the information back to staff at the WTLL sessions the week after.
LTB No: 547/17
12th October 2017
TO: ALL POSTAL BRANCHES
Royal Mail Group dispute – High Court judgment and National Briefing
The purpose of this LTB is to provide an update on developments in the Royal Mail dispute, after the CWU and Royal Mail were in the High Court earlier today. We can advise branches, representatives and members that Royal Mail was successful in its application for an interim injunction, which the union strongly opposed in court.
The interim injunction instructs the union to withdraw the notice of planned strike action next week and to enter into further external mediation, which would need to conclude before the union can call any further action. Following a decision of the union’s Postal Executive we will be complying with the terms of the interim injunction and a letter has been sent to Royal Mail confirming this and withdrawing the notice for strike action on 19th – 21st October.
Accordingly, all branches must, with immediate effect, deploy all means at their disposal including on CWU noticeboards, email, text messages, social media e.g. branch, Facebook and twitter accounts, to inform all members that the industrial action called for the 19th, 20th and 21st October 2017 inclusive is cancelled.
In defending the case in court, while we firmly believe Royal Mail to be abusing the terms of our agreement, it has become clear that the legal test for obtaining an injunction turns upon which party is likely to suffer the greatest financial damage in the event that it is either granted or denied.
The CWU is extremely disappointed at the ruling and we have no doubt our members and representatives will feel the same way. Following 18 months of negotiations, including external mediation, the company’s actions are nothing more than a desperate delaying tactic from a board who are increasingly out of touch with the views of its workforce.
It is now crucial that all our representatives and members see today’s ruling in the context of the wider dispute. Legal proceedings and Royal Mail’s court room politics will not solve the company’s problems. The union has nothing to fear from mediation and unless there is significant movement from the company on a range of issues and a satisfactory agreement is concluded, the union will be calling further strike action once the mediation process has been completed. Furthermore, we will not allow Royal Mail to string out the process beyond the required period.
In light of these developments the union is calling a national briefing on Thursday 19th October next week at the TUC where we will provide a full update on the legal proceedings and set out our next steps. Branches are asked to make attendance at this a priority.
Area Processing Representative
Date 13th October 2017