6th February 2023
TO: ALL POSTAL BRANCHES
ROYAL MAIL GROUP: LEGAL CHALLENGE – STRIKE ACTION – 16TH / 17TH FEBRUARY
On Saturday 4th February we received correspondence from RMG legal representatives challenging the strike notice issued on Thursday 2nd February. This challenge centres around technical issues relating to the Dispute Resolution Process and the lifespan of the existing Change ballot. Having discussed this with our own lawyers, they have said we have an arguable case that we could defend our position in Court.
However, our lawyers have also advised that the risks associated with losing in court may potentially impact on the re-ballot – something which we cannot allow to happen.
Therefore, on the basis of the advice given, the Postal Executive do not believe it is worth risking the status of the new ballot to defend a ballot mandate that expires on the 17th February.
Instead, we have agreed the following steps:
We will cancel the strike action on 16th / 17th February
The focus of the whole union must remain on winning the ballot
We will re-enter negotiations with Royal Mail Group this week
If talks fail, we will significantly step up the programme of strike action
The union will shortly announce details of a formal strike fund
The Postal Executive are crystal clear that the single most important issue at the moment is that the whole union focuses its efforts on maximising the Yes vote and turnout in the live re-ballot. We cannot allow RMG’s blatant efforts to demoralise our members and discredit the union to distract from the reality that the resolution to this long-running dispute will be determined and settled by the outcome of the current national ballot.
This simple message must be strongly conveyed to all members throughout the remainder of the balloting period, including in preparation for tomorrow’s Get the Vote Out Day and ongoing Branch meetings.
To support this approach, we have attached a members’ communication, which we are asking all CWU reps to read out to our members during national Get the Vote Out Day. The overriding message in the members’ communication will be the focus of our own live broadcast tomorrow morning at 08.00.
Finally, given the content of this LTB, it is now incumbent on the whole union to also recognise that it really is not worth risking the status of the new ballot – instead our task is to do everything possible to get the vote out.
Dave Ward – General Secretary
Andy Furey – Acting Deputy General Secretary (Postal)