We’ll see you in court, say unions as Royal Mail bids to ban strikes

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - News -

ROYAL MAIL is head­ing for a court­room show­down af­ter fire­brand union bosses last night vowed to fight its le­gal bid to halt a strike over pen­sions and pay.

The com­pany had threat­ened the Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Work­ers’ Union with an in­junc­tion to prevent 110,000 staff con­duct­ing a wave of strikes in the run-up to Christmas.

But last night union bosses – led by CWU chief Dave Ward, a close ally of Labour leader Jeremy Cor­byn – said they had a ‘cast-iron’ case.

A union spokesman said: ‘They are just try­ing to play for time. We feel we have ex­hausted all the pro­cesses.’ Last week, tens of thou­sands of staff voted in favour of a two-day walk­out from Oc­to­ber 19, which the com­pany fears will cause a huge back­log at sort­ing of­fices. There are also fears that there could be more ac­tion before the festive pe­riod.

The CWU says it has been left with no al­ter­na­tive to strike ac­tion af­ter 18 months of talks in a dis­pute over pay, work­ing hours and plans to scrap the gen­er­ous fi­nal salary pen­sion scheme.

But Royal Mail, which was pri­va­tised four years ago, in­sists the union failed to ex­haust every op­tion at me­di­a­tion before call­ing the strike bal­lot. It is on these grounds that the com­pany is seek­ing an in­junc­tion to halt the walk­out.

Sources said that a sec­ond strike could tar­get the busy Novem­ber pe­riod, in­clud­ing ‘Black Fri­day’ sales held by many re­tail­ers at the end of the month.

Royal Mail chief ex­ec­u­tive Moya Greene wants to cut back the wage bill for the com­pany’s 140,000 em­ploy­ees. Sources say that salaries have risen by about 10 per cent over the past four years, and av­er­age pay is about £23,000.

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