World News

Royal Mail wins bid to block potential strikes, union says

FILE PHOTO: A Royal Mail post box stands on the edge of a field near Lymm, northern England, May 9, 2016. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

(Reuters) - The Communication Workers Union said here on Wednesday that British postal company Royal Mail had won a high court injunction to block potential strikes by the union.

Royal Mail had said last week it would go to court to block a potential strike by its largest union, due to be held around the time of the national election on Dec. 12 and in the traditionally busy run-up to Christmas.

The former postal monopoly did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Its shares shed early losses and rose more than 3% after the court ruling.

The CWU, which called the judgement an “utter outrage”, has not given exact dates of when a strike could take place. Royal Mail has said strikes could affect deliveries of postal votes in the election and Christmas parcels.

Parcelforce Worldwide, Royal Mail’s express courier parcel service, has been excluded from the CWU’s ballot.

The general election could be affected as postal votes accounted for around 18% of votes cast in the last election in 2017, according to figures from the Electoral Commission.

Any potential action would result in the first national postal strike since October 2009, when a massive backlog of undelivered letters forced Royal Mail to hire temporary staff.

In 2017, Royal Mail had blocked a strike by the CWU by winning a high court injunction that prevented industrial action during the crucial pre-Christmas delivery period.

Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar and Samantha Machado in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel