Mail strike halted
Union boss not ruling out future action by postal staff
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.