Protest launched against postal strike

SCORES of workers held a counter-protest opposite the Royal Mail picket line in Ipswich today.

SCORES of workers held a counter-protest opposite the Royal Mail picket line in Ipswich today.

The group of 40 workers, armed with placards and whistles, arrived at the scene of the Royal Mail headquarters in Commercial Road just before midday and set up camp opposite the stunned postal workers.

Their chants of 'Where's Our Post' attracted plenty of attention from passing motorists, many of whom beeped their horns in support.

However Dave Scott, Communication Workers Union branch secretary for Suffolk, said the counter-strike would not deter them.

He said: “This is not going to change the resolve of our postmen. This has probably helped morale.

“The strike is for our customers' future. I do not know if they [protesters] understand that if we put up this fight now, it will mean a better service.

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“I think their strike is a bit silly. They do not understand our arguments.”

The counter-protestors, who held banners with slogans like 'Hey There Wait A Minute Mr Postman', were adamant that the postal workers should halt the industrial action and get on with their job.

Steven Wells, a businessman and councillor, who organised the protest, said: “We are not against postal workers but their strikes are hurting our staff and our businesses. It is time to say enough is enough.

“My constituents are also being hurt by these postal strikes, particularly the elderly and vulnerable who rely on getting their post delivered to them.”

One of the protesters, John Saich, said: “Unless we get letters through, we don't get our bonus. Everyone feels strongly about it.”

Around 44,000 members of the CWU are on strike across the country today. Further 24-hour strikes are due to take place tomorrow and Saturday.

Among the reasons for the strike is a fear over job cuts when a new machine to sort mail gets rolled out.