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Residents split over strike in Reporter poll

PUBLISHED: 15:29 28 October 2009 | UPDATED: 11:10 23 August 2010

THE postal strikes have divided public opinion in the borough, as an exclusive poll by the Reporter reveals. A survey of 100 residents in Gravesend found that 52 were against the postal strikes which were held last Thursday and Friday, and 48 were in sup

THE postal strikes have divided public opinion in the borough, as an exclusive poll by the Reporter reveals.

A survey of 100 residents in Gravesend found that 52 were against the postal strikes which were held last Thursday and Friday, and 48 were in support.

Postal workers across north Kent, who staged walkouts at the mail centre in West Hill, Dartford, and the delivery centre in Milton Road, Gravesend, were striking over modernisation plans and job cuts.

Three further days of strikes were expected from today if the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and Royal Mail bosses were unable to reach a deal during ongoing talks.

Reaction to the walkouts has shown a mix of public support in Gravesend town centre where the poll was carried out.

Supportive Bernadette Bowler, 46, of Medhurst Gardens, Gravesend, said: "I do support them. They are all being expected to do so much work for the same amount of money, and I don't think that is fair.

"I don't think the bosses should be allowed to exploit their workers like this. If I was in that job, I would go on strike."

Gus Dacosta, 66, of High Street, Northfleet, said: "I have a friend that is a postman, and he has been telling me all about it, and the fact that they are being asked to do far too much work for what they are being paid. I support what they are doing.

"The only tool they feel they have is to go on strike. I don't think they want to, he has a wife and child to support, but this is the only way they might be listened to."

However, there were also residents angry about the ongoing dispute, saying the postal workers should find an alternative way to sort out their differences rather than going on strike.

Retail worker Alex Crawford, 19, of Ferndale Road, Gravesend, said: "I don't support the strike, like a few of my friends, I was supposed to get a few packages in the post, but of course they never arrived.

"You pay for a first class stamp so you expect to get the mail delivered, but because they are on strike we haven't received them."

Social worker Lisa Mcdonald, 39, of Whynfell Way, Gravesend, added: "I can understand the postman's point of view and that they want to go on strike, but it feels a bit like they are letting the community down.

"I'm sure there is a different way of sorting out their problems rather than going on strike."

ed.riley@archant.co.uk

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