Support shown at Ramsgate and Broadstairs sites on first day of postal strike – The Isle Of Thanet News

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Picket line at Ramsgate Photo Ciaran Jarrett- #PicketPap

Postal workers say there has been a good show of support as they begin the first of four day strikes today (August 26).

The strike, initiated by the Communication Workers Union (CWU), is due to a dispute over wages and pensions.

There is also anger over changes to working hours, including later starts and working on some Sundays, cuts in sick pay and the reduction of some allowances.

Photo Ciaran Jarrett – #PicketPap

In Ramsgate, a large number of staff and supporters held the picket line outside the Wilfred Road sorting office – including a postman who just got married and brought a wedding cake for his colleagues!

All around wedding cake

The Margate and Broadstairs depots were closed despite Broadstairs staff being out of their offices as part of the industrial action.

Broadstairs postman Ralph Lowdon was one of those who showed support for the strike.

Broadstairs Photo Andy Smith

Ralph, 63, started his career as a telegram boy aged 16 in London, before returning to Thanet and buying the Curzon Hotel in Broadstairs, then returning to Royal Mail a while ago about 21 years old.

He said: ‘It’s about wages and hour changes. We used to start at 4am then it got pushed back to 7am and now they’re looking at 8/9/10am with a 6pm finish which affects the guys picking up their children at school.

“They just change and kill the job. During the covid, we were always there, in the street, and people appreciated what we were doing. But the way they change things we won’t even have time to say hello to people.

“Salaries are the main thing and I explained that to people. Hopefully with the pressure of Christmas coming soon, the management will sort this out. The support has been really good.

Photo Ciaran Jarrett – #PicketPap

Royal Mail says an offer of up to 5.5 per cent has been made despite the company’s losses of £1million a day, but the CWU says it’s a wage reward of 2% no deal plus 1.5% based on signing terms and conditions and a £500 bonus for targets that are not achievable.

Across the country, some 115,000 postal workers are taking part in the strikes after some 97% of those polled voted in favor of the action.

Photo Ciaran Jarrett – #PicketPap

New strikes are to take place on August 31 and September 8 and 9.

Royal Mail says: ‘Royal Mail has well-developed contingency plans, but they cannot fully replace the day-to-day efforts of its frontline workforce. We will do our best to keep the services running, but customers should expect significant disruption.

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