Postal workers protest

Postal workers protest outside the High Court ahead of a bid by the Royal Mail to seek an injunction stopping a planned strike.

Strike action at Royal Mail has been put on hold after the postal operator won a court ruling against the Communication Workers Union (CWU).

CWU members voted in in favour of strike action against the operator's pension scheme in a ballot last month, and a 48-hour walkout was due to take place on 19 October.

However Royal Mail said the strike action was unlawful, claiming it went against an Agenda for Growth both parties had signed in 2013.

The agenda, Royal Mail said, stipulated that industrial action was only allowed after five weeks of mediation, while the CWU voted to strike after just four.

The High Court found that any industrial action that took place before the dispute resolution procedure had been followed would have been unlawful.

A statement from Royal Mail said the operator will make contact with the union "as a matter of urgency" to begin an external mediation process.

This, it said, will not be completed until "close to Christmas", if not longer.

Royal Mail said: "The Agenda for Growth is a balanced agreement which gives significant protections to Royal Mail employees.

"In return, the CWU committed to an industrial stability framework with defined processes and strict timescales to resolve disputes. We want to use them to do just that.

"We are very committed to working closely with the CWU in order to reach agreement as a matter of priority."

Image: PA Images