Mail strike halted

Union boss not rul­ing out fu­ture ac­tion by postal staff

Evening Telegraph (First Edition) - - Front Page - BY JON BRADY

A TRADE union boss has not ruled out the pos­si­bil­ity of postal work­ers in Dundee go­ing on strike — de­spite a court or­der halt­ing any walk­outs.

Royal Mail was granted an in­junc­tion at the Royal Courts of Jus­tice in Lon­don yes­ter­day.

The firm had ar­gued that a strike by the Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Work­ers Union (CWU) was il­le­gal be­cause it had not com­plied with an in­dus­trial ac­tion me­di­a­tion process agreed by both par­ties.

The or­der legally pre­vents 110,000 postal work­ers — more than 300 of whom are in Dundee — walk­ing out on planned strike ac­tion later this month.

Rab Stor­rie, Scot­tish branch chair­man of the CWU, told the Tele the union was “dis­ap­pointed but not sur­prised” the or­der had been granted.

But he said he found it “ironic” that Royal Mail was only now call­ing for me­di­a­tion af­ter 18 months of dis­cus­sions with the CWU.

He added: “The plan is that we will now com­ply with the me­di­a­tion process as re­quested by Royal Mail.

“Our ar­gu­ment yes­ter­day was that 18 months of talks were plenty of time for me­di­a­tion but the judge has made a de­ci­sion and that will be abided by.”

The bal­lot on strike ac­tion, held ear­lier this month, saw 73.7% of postal work­ers turn out — sur­pass­ing the le­gal re­quire­ment of 50% — and 89% of them back a walk­out.

How­ever, with the de­ci­sion of the bal­lot re­main­ing valid for up to six months, Mr Stor­rie has not ruled out po­ten­tial fu­ture ac­tion. He said: “We won’t need to have an­other bal­lot af­ter the talks.

“That lasts for six months so we won’t have to bal­lot again if noth­ing comes from the me­di­a­tion. We’re still up­beat about the sit­u­a­tion.

“The court’s de­ci­sion won’t take away the fact that we had the bal­lot. The law was de­signed to put ob­sta­cles in our way. How­ever, we hope the me­di­a­tion brings out some­thing.”

Talks between the CWU and Royal Mail could last un­til Christ­mas, po­ten­tially averting a cri­sis in the postal ser­vice.

A spokesman for Royal Mail said: “We will now make con­tact with the CWU as a mat­ter of ur­gency to be­gin the process of ex­ter­nal me­di­a­tion.

“The first step is se­lect­ing a me­di­a­tor ac­cept­able to Royal Mail and the CWU from a panel that was agreed by both par­ties.”

Trade union boss Rab Stor­rie, right, has not ruled out strike ac­tion.

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