Employment Cases Update

Royal Mail Group Ltd v Communication Workers Union [2019] EWCA Civ 2150

Date published: 05/12/2019

Appeal against the High Court’s decision granting an injunction to restrain the Appellant trade union from calling strike action. Appeal dismissed.

The Appellant conducted a ballot of its members employed by the Respondent, which resulted in an overwhelming vote in favour of industrial action. The Respondent contended that the ballot did not comply with the requirements of section 230 Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 ("TULR(C)A"), on the basis that there had been improper conduct that might amount to interference; and that, as a result, if strike action were to be called, the Appellant would not be entitled to the immunity in tort for actions taken in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute for which section 219 TULR(C)A provides. The High Court concluded that it was not likely that the Appellant would succeed on its argument that there had been compliance with section 230 TULR(C)A, that damages would not be an adequate remedy for the Respondent in the event of unlawful strike action, and that the balance of convenience favoured an injunction. The Appellant appealed on the ground that the High Court had been wrong to conclude that it was likely that there had been a failure to comply with section 230 TULR(C)A.

The Court of Appeal held that the High Court had been right, and in any event was not "plainly wrong", in concluding that the Appellant was not likely to succeed in its claim to immunity under section 219 TULR(C)A. Accordingly, the appeal would be dismissed.

Read the full text of the judgment on BAILII or download the file by clicking the link below.