PRESS: Union Will Defend Strike Against Royal Mail In High Court

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LONDON (Alliance News) - The Communications Workers Union said on Wednesday it would defend its position on industrial action against Royal Mail PLC in the High Court on Thursday, Reuters reported.

Royal Mail said on Monday that it planned to seek an injunction in the Royal Courts of Justice against the CWU to prevent it following through with its plans to strike between 1100 BST on October 19 to 1100BST on October 21. This was in order that the contractual external mediation process, agreed in 2013, could be followed.

On Wednesday Royal Mail told Reuters that the High Court was yet to confirm a hearing date.

"We believe any strike action before the dispute resolution procedures have been followed would be unlawful strike action", a spokesman for the postal company said in an emailed response to Reuters.

The CWU announced on October 3 that 89% union members voted in favour of the industrial action against a turnout of 74%. Taking into account the 18,000 front-line employees who are not union members, 57% of Royal Mail employees backed the strike.

The CWU officially informed Royal Mail of its intention to stage industrial action on Thursday.

The dispute centres on disagreements over pay and, in particular, pensions benefits for Royal Mail staff.

Royal Mail said it was offering to replace its defined benefit pension scheme with another defined benefit scheme. Pension members could also chose to join a defined contribution scheme if they desired to do so. The company offered to contribute a maximum 10% to its defined contribution plan.

Shares in Royal Mail were up 1.7% at 389.20 pence Wednesday.

By Ahren Lester; [email protected]

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