Royal Mail is going to the High Court this afternoon in a bid to stop a postal strike, which could disrupt deliveries in the run-up to the general election and Christmas.
Employment lawyer Jonathan Chamberlain, of Gowling WLG, told the Today programme: “They will be looking at very detailed and technical results related to balloting.
“Unless a strike is properly balloted then a company can apply to court to stop it going ahead. Here the suggestion is that the ballot wasn’t secret because ballot papers were being opened, and also that employees – perhaps union members – interfered with the balloting, and that’s prohibited under the legislation.”
Any ruling in Royal Mail’s favour is more likely to delay the strike rather than get it called off permanently.
Mr Chamberlain added: “The wording is clear, there can’t be interference in the ballot. But there is a general principle in English law that minor mistakes shouldn’t overhaul the whole of an exercise such as this, so I imagine that in a case like this it will be how widespread this practice was.
“You can’t solve industrial disputes in the court. If the union got the balloting wrong and these things occurred all they have to do is reballot and we will have a strike later.”