Support shown at Ramsgate and Broadstairs sites on first day of postal workers strike action

Picket line in Ramsgate earlier this year Photo Ciaran Jarrett- #PicketPap

Postal workers say there has been a good show of support as they take the first of four days of strike action today (August 26).

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.

Photo Ciaran Jarrett- #PicketPap

In Ramsgate a large number of staff and supporters have been manning the picket line outside the sorting office in Wilfred Road – including one postman who has just got married and brought wedding cake for his colleagues!

Wedding cake all round

Depots at Margate and Broadstairs were shut although staff at Broadstairs were outside their office as part of the industrial action.

Broadstairs postman Ralph Lowdon was one of those to show support for the strike.

Broadstairs Photo Andy Smith

Ralph, 63, began his career as a telegram boy aged 16 in London, before returning to Thanet and buying the Curzon Hotel in Broadstairs and then going back to Royal Mail some 21 years ago.

He said: “It is about the wages and the changes to hours. We used to start at 4am and then it got pushed to 7am and now they are looking at 8/9/10am with a 6pm finish which affects the guys who pick up their kids from school.

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

“The wages are the main thing and I have been explaining it to people. Hopefully with the Christmas pressure coming soon management will get this sorted out. The support has been really good.”

Photo Ciaran Jarrett- #PicketPap

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 taking part in the strikes after some 97% of those balloted voted in favour of the action.

Photo Ciaran Jarrett- #PicketPap

Further strike action is due to take place on 31 August and the 8 and 9 September.

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.”


    • Joris doesn’t care for workers rights, or the fact unions allowed him a 5 day work week, with in work benefits packages. Joris doesn’t care, that without unions, he’d still be working for pennies, instead of a proper remuneration package.

      Amazon workers are also striking Joris, or did you miss that cause of your blind hubris?

  1. Good luck to the postal workers, they deserve to win. Their fight is our fight. The money for fair staff pay is there in the Royal Mail coffers, but they spend it on huge payouts to shareholders and top execs. That’s disgusting when bills and all our living costs are rocketing. Inflation-matching pay should be a given, workers shouldn’t have to be going on strike to get it. Shame on Royal Mail.

    • Speak for yourself.
      It’s not my fight. All jobs have to change with the times.
      The more they strike, the less people pay will use them and it serves them right.

        • You confuse management decisions with what staff can do. For many years we have seen parallel management action, cutting post offices, staff and services while also reducing working conditions.
          We all have a choice here, support the Posties in their fight or not. If not don’t complain when, in a few years time there’s no sorting office, no deliveries by known Posties and no “Royal Mail”.

        • Peter ,its one whole delivery of up to 5 hours not 2 and a half hours then go back out with a few letters like it was along time ago ..
          I work 6 days a week and used to work arond 60 hours but now 42 .its a 37 hour week ,some do less ,some do more.
          The overtime overall is simply not there like it used to be

  2. Poor old Royal Mail whining about losing £1M a day, they made £758M last year yet still insist on slashing workers pay and conditions.

  3. Anyone commenting on here wanting to give posties a hard time, you need to have a long hard look at what you want your communities to be like.

        • Peter, one problem with Peter Checksfield is that he loves to troll people on IoTN news items. He makes any issue about him rather than dealing seriously with the item. Accordingly he often makes silly and sarcastic commnets as if these are humorous when, in fact, they are tedious and boring.
          He’s probably quite a sad man.

        • Who said “all day”? Just an extra hour or two here and there would probably suffice.

          Fact is, there are two ways of negotiating:

          (1) Shout “I want more!!!!”

          (2) Off something as a slight trade-off.

          In my experience, (2) works far, far better.

          • Hi Peter, Given, if you educated yourself on the subject matter, you’d learn that the RM are melting out of negotiations (see the video of CWU leadership telling RM leadership they’re outside and ready to meet and discuss terms, to which the RM leadership melted). one thinks you need to learn to wind your neck in and educate yourself before making an a**e of yourself.

  4. Good stuff. Next up Teachers & Barristers. Bring these corrupt fat cats siphoning money & shafting their workers & the public to their knees.

    Clearly this Zombie government aren’t going to do anything to their rich friends/donors, even when the imbecile Truss gets in.

    • BMJ say that doctors strikes are ‘inevitable’, and nurses are currently balloting to strike. Fire fighters are likely to strike in coming months too. All of them deserve inflation-matched pay, and in some cases, restorative pay too.
      Journalists at Reach PLC which publish the Express, the Mirror and lots of local papers are going on strike today as well.

  5. Workers don’t find it easy making a decision to go on strike. They lose money and rouse the hostility of people who don’t understand their situation. They deserve good pay and conditions and we all deserve a good postal service run in the interest of the public and not in the interest of the shareholders of a privatised company.

  6. The Tolpuddle Martyrs went on strike – Agriculture is now mechanised.
    Miners went on strike – Where are the mines?
    Junior doctors went on strike – NHS 111.
    Car workers went on strike – Cars manufactured by robots.

    Does anyone see a pattern?

    Buckminster-Fuller said something along the lines of: Don’t fight against an established reality. Create a new one that renders the old one obsolete.”

    Those (trades unionists) who fail to learn the lessons from the mistakes of History are destined to repeat them.


    • I remember barely less than a year ago farmers alerting us all that they didn’t have enough staff to pick their crops and it was going to waste. The more reactionary amongst us screamed that the unemployed should be forced to do the work, even though large amounts of people on benefits already have jobs, or couldn’t work on farms due to childcare or poor health.
      But according to Harry here, agriculture is entirely mechanised and no workers are required.
      Also, if Harry thinks NHS 111 has replaced the need for doctors, he needs to wise up. What a ridiculous claim.
      Anyway, the negative ones on here can carp away all they like, the fact is that the majority of the public approve of these strikes, approve of caps on profits and executive pay, and want the core services to be nationalised to stop this ridiculous farce.

      • Carly J
        I started off my working life aspiring to be a fruit farm manager. I even went to Harlow College for a while. Before I realised that the Common Agricultural Policy was doing so much to destroy the industry. Four decades of that destroyed huge numbers of businesses that had been hubs of their communities. Agricultural workers, their wives and generations of Romanies picked out crops. That’s all been destroyed by the C.A.P. and oligopolistic urban supermarket chains. Consequently there has been a vast increase in the creation and use of tidier plants and cooperatively owned picking machinery.
        As to NHS 111. It may be personed by non-medically trained people. However, the machines they operate use programmes authored using standard diagnostic information and signposting. To say otherwise would simply be a lie.

  7. Left and right you know what they’re like, I’m with the strikers from morning till night. Good luck to the lads and lasses as they fight for what’s right.

  8. Despite the negative comments on here, I was more than impressed with the amount of support the pickets were getting from the public who were driving past. They have my unconditional support.

  9. As the song goes…
    Which side are you on?
    Which side are you on?
    Which side are you on?
    Which side are you on?

    Oh, workers can you stand it?
    Oh, tell me how you can
    Will you be a lousy scab
    Or will you be a man?

    Don’t scab for the bosses
    Don’t listen to their lies
    Us poor folks haven’t got a chance
    Unless we organize

    • Typical hard left talking about scabs.
      Hopefully the government will bring in more anti strike legislation.

      • Seaside lover of licking boots.

        The hard left and unions got you all the working conditions, healthcare, safety and in work employer provided benefits most workers now love and openly enjoy.

        The only people against that, are people who love to struggle, who always complain about everything (lacking self awareness to see they’re the problem) and those who love to lick the boots of hard right wing, cryptofascists.

        So, which are you? Why would you willingly want working conditions to worsen, for your family and friends, “seaside”?

  10. With the cost of postage already far to expensive, and now, because of the strike, we don’t get any delivery’s.
    Once the strike is over all the prices will go up yet again.
    The government should take the post back and control it.
    When all these people go on strike, it’s the general public who have to suffer.

      • “When there’s no trains”, people only drive more if they’ve got a car/ can afford to hire a car and, of course, can drive.

      • Hi Peter Not me I refuse to post or buy anything from amazon even though I may be able to get what I want cheaper, its a principle about the way they treat a lot of their workers, even before seeing the TV film life and death in the warehouse, a true story which happened within amazon premises, I know a who will buy from amazon but a lot more who don’t the only reason I’ve not bought your book Peter.

        • I too don’t use Amazon. In fact, I never shop online. And when I’m shopping, I don’t use self-scan tills.

          • Hi Ms Rees sounds like you prefer to have money rather than cards etc to pay for things, not knocking it as the use of cards & online banking is the main reason bank’s are closing premises, Peter green shield stamps I still have a book full and a complete set of co-op coins in good to immaculate condition last time I looked at them safely tucked away for the kids. Mum used to use co-op coins to pay for gas & electricity in the days you got a rebate when using a slot meter,

  11. Mail, Water, Energy and Rail need to be nationalised so that we get good, well-staffed services with good pay and conditions for the workers. Instead of obscene amounts of money being siphoned upwards to the shareholders (that do no work) and the execs (that don’t do the real graft), the surpluses made can be reinvested for improvements and decent pay. And guess what, the public agree with this. Even Tory voters agree with it!
    66% of the public want to see energy in public ownership, including 62% of Conservative voters.
    68% of Conservative voters want water to be nationalised.
    We are being ripped off. Let’s nationalise the key public services and pay the British workforce inflation-matching pay.

      • Do you think that the workers in this country should be paid below inflation wages? That’s what this strike is about. That and having their rest days and rotas messed with. You’re arguing very hard that Royal Mail should die out because its workers are striking for pay that actually keeps up with rocketing costs. You’re obviously too embarrassed to say that you are OK with people being paid less as costs rise in a frightening way – so instead you pretend it’s about other things, to cover your butt. Why don’t you come out and say that poverty wages are just fine with you?

        • If everyone suddenly got the pay rise they want (and yes, mostly deserve!), then inflation would soar even more than it is at present, and we’d soon be back to square one – or worse.

          I’m NOT pretending I know what the answer is (apart from possibly Russia and Ukraine finding peace and stabilising world fuel costs), but I do know that causing yet more suffering to millions by withdrawing services due to strikes isn’t something I can support.

          As I’ve suggested above, perhaps they need to negotiate by putting something on the table (i.e. increased productivity) rather than just ranting? (and banter aside Carly, I’ve no doubt your actions are well meant).

        • Poverty wages, oh come of it.
          You really are a dinosaur, Carly.
          Nothing can change. Jobs like they were 40 years ago.
          Productivity is taboo. But only to be expected from the hard left.

  12. Genuine question- does Peter Checksfield spend 24 hours a day, every day, hovering over a keyboard waiting for Isle of Thanet News to publish ANYTHING just so he can comment on it. I would be interested yo know.

  13. In the end it will mean more automation in the sorting office ergo less staff,bigger rounds for the postal staff ,less parcels being delivered by Royal Mail, other companies will do that,yes the company makes profits,that’s what private industry is all about,I agree the utilities should be privatised,but beware for all those that can remember,the nationalised Industries were always on strike in the late 60/70s and that was with a Labour government at times will we go back to that time, yes especially if Corbyn was still leading the Labour party

  14. Should go full P&O on the strikers and bring fresh blood into RM.

    Strikers are so dumb it’s incomprehensible; demand more pay, pay goes up, happy hour, prices rise. Hey presto, back to square one.

    However, it still won’t change the fact it’s a dying organisation; delivery promise failures, reduced/unpredictable office opening times, poor parcel handling. I sincerely hope everyone chooses an alternative courier. In fact, many “Amazon Generation” couriers are doing a cheaper and better job. Boo hoo RM.

    • “Strikers are so dumb it’s incomprehensible”

      Not as incomprehensibly stupid as those who fail to understand that without strikes and unionisation, they wouldn’t have life as good as they have it now.

      There’d be no limits on working hours to preserve your health.

      There’d be no limits on how little employers could get away with paying you.

      There’d be no safety precautions, to prevent you becoming disabled and UNABLE to work.

      You’d be treated as less than an insect by employers, yet you’re cheerleading that style of ethics and morality.

      Why is that “woodchippers”? What makes you want to support a lowering of workplace standards, safety and ultimately your health (intrinsically linked to your employment status/earning potential)?

      • Then workers should just leave and go to jobs with fairer terms and conditions. Then RM will be forced to offer better contracts.

        By striking you are damaging the economy and stroking the wheels of inflation; sure, you might get a pay deal but then it will all cascade in to higher prices so that previous equilibrium is met (i.e. your ‘poor’ wealth position is maintained)

        The only solution is to accept less, and even for that, you’ll have to do more hours, unpalatable as it may seem.

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