Postal workers are asking for local support as they take strike action over four days this month and next.
The strike, initiated by the Communication Workers Union (CWU, is due to a dispute over pay and pensions.
There is also anger at changes to hours including later starts and working some Sundays, reductions to sick pay and the cutting of some allowances.
In Ramsgate staff will man a picket line from 5am until late afternoon outside the sorting office in Wilfred Road during the days of action on 26 and 31 August and the 8 and 9 September.
Depots at Margate and Broadstairs will be shut.
‘Fighting for fair pay’
Thanet postman Ben Jackson said: “Local support is something that we need to show the company that people have our back. The new terms and conditions will not only impact us working but will also impact the local community.
“Royal Mail shareholders have got millions in bonus payments over the last few months, but are only offering us a 2% raise during a 10% inflation rate, which means an 8% pay cut in the long term. We are simply asking for fair pay for the work we have done since the pandemic and onwards.
“The second stage is the terms of conditions. Hopefully the company will halt these changes after the strikes we are currently doing from Friday.
“There will be new contracts for newer employees, the conditions not yet known but an educated guess will be less pay.
“For now we are fighting for fair pay,”
Pay offer and national action
Royal Mail says an offer of up to 5.5% has been made despite company losses of £1m per day but the CWU says this is a 2% pay award without agreement plus 1.5% based on signing away terms and conditions and a £500 bonus for targets that are not achievable.
Across the country some 115,000 postal workers are due to take part in the strikes after some 97% of those balloted voted in favour of the action.
CWU and Post Office negotiators have been in talks facilitated by independent arbitration service ACAS.
If no agreement is reached, the strike days will take place on Friday August 26th (All Post Office members), Saturday August 27th (Crowns) and Tuesday August 30th (Admin & Supply Chain).
Royal Mail says: “Royal Mail has well-developed contingency plans, but they cannot fully replace the daily efforts of its frontline workforce. We will be doing what we can to keep services running, but customers should expect significant disruption.
On days when strike action is taking place:
It will will deliver as many Special Delivery and Tracked24 parcels as possible
It will prioritise the delivery of COVID test kits and medical prescriptions wherever possible
It will not be delivering letters (with the exception of Special Delivery)
What you can do:
Post your items as early as possible in advance of the strike dates
Continue to post your items at Postboxes or Post Offices, however collections will be less frequent on days when strike action is taking place