Royal Mail protestors in Whitstable say fight is not over
THE fight to save Whitstable delivery office continues despite Royal Mail's resolve to move it to Canterbury.
Campaigners are planning a series of stunts, including a second mass convoy today (Saturday), a junk mail ban and a possible county-wide strike if the company refuses to change its mind.
Royal Mail's delivery director for Kent, Ray Tompsett, has reiterated previous statements reassuring customers about the move:
He said: "We are keen to minimise the impact of the move on people who live in and around Whitstable. No-one will need to travel to Canterbury to collect parcels if they do not wish to.
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"Moving our Whitstable office to Canterbury will have minimal impact on traffic and help Royal Mail reduce our carbon footprint."
Royal Mail is waiting for the outcome of a joint review on its plans with the Communication Workers Union, expected to be announced this week, and could not comment further.
But campaigner Julie Wassmer said: "Please be assured that the fight for our postal delivery office is winnable – and far from over.
"If Royal Mail continues with its plans, people in Whitstable are prepared to show effective opposition by staging a mass 'opt out' of door-to-door mail, which provides a huge revenue for Royal Mail. This action will come as a real blow to the company, especially since it could easily spread to other areas."
A mass motorcade is scheduled from Gorrell Tank car park to the Canterbury delivery office in Military Road on Saturday.
At least 22 vehicles are expected – the number of vans which will be used by postal workers if the move goes ahead.
This follows a smaller protest convoy last week to test Royal Mail claims the journey will not affect the service.
Mrs Wassmer said: "Royal Mail expects this journey to be made up to four times a day by postal staff. We will see what happens, just once, when 22 vehicles hit Saturday traffic in Canterbury."
At the annual meeting of the Kent Invicta Branch of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) on Saturday members from across Kent agreed to ballot on strike action in support of Whitstable staff.
Postal worker and Whitstable CWU rep, Chris Stone, said: "This was a fantastic, and a very important, result for Whitstable. It shows that the branch as a whole are willing to take action in support of our campaign and that they reject the Royal Mail's bullying tactics in trying to force a move without our consent."
Anyone wishing to join the convoy should meet in the Gorrell Tank car park at 1pm. If possible, cars should be decorated with red ribbon or tape.