The company has written to the Communication Workers Union invoking the legally-binding external mediation process under the dispute resolution procedures in its Agenda for Growth agreement.
The Royal Mail requested that CWU withdraw its notification of industrial action by 12 noon on Monday, October 9 and commit to following the dispute resolution procedures.
Andrew Moys, the Royal Mail’s deputy director of communications, said: “The CWU has declined to withdraw its notification.
“As a result, Royal Mail will today lodge an application with the High Court for an injunction to prevent industrial action so that the contractual external mediation process can be followed. A date for a hearing will be arranged with the High Court.
“As previously stated, we believe any strike action before the dispute resolution procedures have been followed would be unlawful strike action.
“Royal Mail notes that, in a ballot in 2014 on all the provisions of the Agenda for Growth agreement including the dispute resolution procedures, 94.5% of CWU members that cast their votes voted Yes.”
The CWU has called for a 48-hour strike from 11am next Thursday, October 19. The move would affect postal deliveries and collections on the Friday and Saturday.
Locally, it will impact on all postal deliveries and collections in the BA and SN postcode areas covering Bath and Swindon and the surrounding areas.
It follows a 89.1 per cent ‘yes’ vote in favour of taking industrial action in a national ballot of union members. The turnout was 73.7 per cent.
In Swindon and the surrounding area, more than 2,600 postal workers are expected to take part, while in the Bath area around 600 could go on strike.
Paul Wotton, secretary of the CWU’s South West No.7 Branch covering the Bath area, said they were expecting “most members” to strike following the result of the national ballot.
Chris Rye, secretary of the CWU’s Western Counties Branch covering the Swindon area, said: “I would imagine we will get a pretty strong response, given the national ballot result.”
CWU Bristol & District Branch Secretary, Rob Wotherspoon, which includes the regional mail sorting centre at Filton in Bristol, said “It is highly disappointing that after 18 months of negotiations including external mediation that we have reached this point.
“Royal Mail Group management have clearly moved away from the spirit and intent of our agreements and the empty promises of privatisation, and have suffered a huge vote of no confidence from their employees and CWU members as a consequence.
“People are extremely angry and will now express that by overwhelmingly supporting this strike action in order to shift Royal Mail Group from their entrenched position, protect themselves and this great public service.
REPORT FROM-WILTSHIRE TIMES