Royal Mail blocked a strike by Communications Workers Union members on Thursday, winning a High Court injunction preventing action during the crucial pre-Christmas delivery period.
The CWU in turn claimed it has been attempting to find a solution to the dispute for 18 months.
It would have been the first national strike since Royal Mail was privatised four years ago. The last mass industrial action among postal workers was in 2009.
A Royal Mail walkout could cause chaos for millions of BritsWhy was the Royal Mail walkout taking place?
"Postal workers delivered a massive "Yes" vote for strike action and we are determined to take whatever steps are necessary to deliver an agreement that will protect and enhance our members' terms and conditions and improve the range of services on offer to customers", he said. The judged ruled that pressing ahead with the strike without following the dispute resolution procedures, which include involving an external party to mediate on talks, would be unlawful.
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More than 100 postal workers including Dave Ward, the CWU's general secretary, gathered outside the high court for the verdict.
The Labour MP Gill Furniss also pledged her support for the union, telling the protest: "Despite the draconian laws imposed on workers, the CWU well surpassed the thresholds and sent a clear message to the company".
However, Royal Mail has argued that it would be illegal for the CWU to coordinate a strike until the contractual external mediation process has been followed.
In the wake of the ruling, Royal Mail said it would make contact with the CWU "as a matter of urgency".
"We want an agreement and will comply with the injunction to undertake further external mediation".
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