Nov. 13 (UPI) -- The High Court of Justice ruled Wednesday in favor of Britain's postal service and blocked union election results that could've spawned a labor strike during the critical holiday shipping season.
Royal Mail workers who belong to the Communication Workers Union had voted to support "industrial action" amid long-running negotiations. Seventy-six percent of membership voted and 97 percent approved the action.
The Royal Mail convinced the High Court, however, that the union took advantage by allowing members to cast ballots at work, which is a violation of voting rules. The postal service argued there were irregularities or intimidation at more than 70 sites.
The court in its ruling acknowledged the "irregularities."
"In this case, in respect of the conduct of the general election and the part played in that election by postal votes, there is a relevant wider public interest that is material to my conclusion that an injunction should be granted," Justice Jonathan Swift said in his decision.
The union dismissed the ruling as an "utter outrage."
"The High Court has ruled against us," it tweeted. "Stand strong. We will not be moved."
Dave Ward, the union's general secretary, said he's not received any complaints that rules were violated.
"Not one single person out of 110,000 who were balloted complained to Royal Mail that their right to vote was interfered with," he said. "Not one single person out of 110,000 who were balloted complained to the independent scrutineers that their right to vote was interfered with. The Electoral Reform Society, who conducted the ballot, confirmed it was run in full accordance of the law."