Defending The 4 Pillars Agreement – November2019
The High Court Judgement Explained
This Members Bulletin is designed to explain the judgement of the High Court in RMG’s Injunction application, the relevant law and the issues that were raised in the Court,
The case was heard by Mr Justice Swift who has been a High Court Judge for around 1 year. Justice Swift decided, in his wisdom, to uphold RMG’s application and declared our ballot unlawful.
Below is a reminder of the result in our industrial action ballot:
Number of ballot papers issued: 110,292
Number of papers returned: 83,704
Ballot turnout: 75.9%
Number of YES votes: 81,232
Number of NO votes: 2,421
Percentage voting YES: 97.1%
The law that governs Trade Union industrial action ballots is the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1992 (TULRA), which has recently been amended by the Trade Union Act 2016.
The Trade Union Laws in the UK are the most repressive in Europe. The part of the TULRA that deals with industrial action runs for 38 pages and contains 43 Sections. The law is designed to make it as hard as is possible for a union to obtain a lawful ballot for industrial action. Some of the requirements of the law are:
So, Why Were We Injuncted?
Justice Swift decided there were three reasons:
Incredibly, on the first two reasons given by Justice Swiftthese issues happened during the 2017 Four Pillars campaignand Royal Mail made no complaint that this was a breach of the law.
Even if these activities technically breached the balloting regulations; with a 97.1% YES vote, even if you excluded all votes identified by Royal Mail as breaching the regulations there is no possibility that this could turn this YES vote into a no vote.
For a judge to decide that because a General Election has been called (after we had balloted) that this is grounds for nullifying a ballot where over 80,000 members had voted YES is a disgrace. In short, Justice Swift decided that our democracy was worthless.
This injunction is perhaps the greatest demonstration of how the law and the justice system is stacked against Trade Unions.
Members should also be very angry with Royal Mail. This is your employer seeking to silence the voices of over 80,000 of their employees.
We are still in dispute with Royal Mail.
Firstly, we will appeal the judgment of Justice Swift to the Court of Appeal.
If necessary, we will re-ballot members (and ensure the issues complained of do not re-occur.)
The dispute will only be resolved via a national agreement covering the issues in dispute. The sooner Royal Mail enters into negotiations with the CWU, the sooner we can resolve the dispute.
We Rise Again!
No Justice – No Peace