Mail strikes planned for the run-up to Christmas would 'significantly interfere' with democracy by disrupting postal voting in the General Election, High Court hears
- Communication Workers Union is planning pre-Christmas strike over terms
- They say 97% of the 75% of members who voted supported action
- But Royal Mail has launched court action saying officials 'breached rules'
- Court heard that strikes threaten 'significant interference' with democracy
Postal strikes threaten ‘significant interference with the exercise of democracy’, a court heard yesterday.
Royal Mail claimed nationwide strike chaos could hamper voters casting ballots by post in next month’s General Election – and possibly even change the result in some marginal constituencies.
The company has urged a High Court judge to block planned industrial action in the coming weeks, arguing that a vote carried out last month was illegitimate.
Royal Mail is seeking an injunction to block a planned strike by postal workers
The firm accuses the Communication Workers Union of ‘consciously and deliberately’ interfering in a vote on whether to take action last month that was backed by 97 per cent of members.
It claims this was done by urging union members to open their ballots at mail sorting offices and ‘instructing’ them to vote ‘yes’ in a ‘de facto workplace ballot’ and then post pictures of themselves on social media.
Bruce Carr, acting for Royal Mail, said urging members to open their ballots and vote at work breached rules designed to keep union members ‘free from the pressures that may be brought to bear’ on them at work.
He added that uncounted postal votes could ‘mean a candidate wins a seat that they wouldn’t have otherwise won’.
The union rejected the allegations and said urging members to back strike action was part of ‘legitimate partisan campaigning’.
Presiding judge Jonathan Swift said he hopes to give his ruling today.
CWU general secretary Dave Ward pictured with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in 2015