The Royal Mail has won a High Court injunction preventing next week's planned 48-hour strike by postal workers.
The hearing at the High Court in London was scheduled to start at 10:30 am this morning.
Royal Mail says the CWU is in breach of its contractual obligation not to call for strike action until the external mediation process, which began on October 5, is exhausted.
"Postal workers' attitude towards the company will harden and it makes us more determined than ever to defend our members pensions, jobs, service and achieve our objectives".
The CWU has accused Royal Mail of carrying out a "relentless" programme of cost-cutting to maximise short-term profits and shareholder returns.
The CWU said that they have been trying to find a resolution to the dispute for 18 months, Royal Mail said that the injunction will prevent hundreds of thousands of people across the United Kingdom being inconvenienced. The company claimed that under an agreement with the union the CWU must enter mediation with Royal Mail before embarking on industrial action.
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Royal Mail said talks would likely take until around Christmas time to complete, or possibly longer.
CWU disagreed, calling Royal Mail's legal challenge "underhanded" and "a deliberate attempt to misinterpret and use the agreement to stop postal workers exercising our right to strike".
"We are very committed to working closely with the CWU in order to reach agreement as a matter of priority". "We must work together to save it", he said.
Gill Furniss, shadow minister for postal services, said: "Royal Mail's decision to take the dispute to the High Court - and today's ruling - are extremely disappointing".
Of those who voted, 89.1 per cent cast their ballot in favour of strike action.
Update: 17:50: Here's a video from Royal Mail explains that it's business as usual as negotiations continue.
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