The Royal Mail has won an injunction preventing next week's 48-hour strike by postal workers.
Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) were set to walk out from October 19 after voting massively in favour of industrial action in a long-running row.over pensions, pay and jobs
The strike would have been the first national walkout since Royal Mail was privatised four years ago.
Royal Mail says that 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.
It claims that an injunction is appropriate to prevent the deliberate inconveniencing of hundreds of thousands of people across the UK, as well as commercial loss to the company.
The union maintains it has been attempting to find a solution to the dispute for 18 months.
Mr Justice Supperstone granted the order on Thursday after a hearing at London's High Court.
He said: "I consider the strike call to be unlawful and the defendant is obliged to withdraw its strike call until the external mediation process has been exhausted."