Barry paper urges readers to make rebel postie a Royal Mail winner

The Barry & District News has launched a campaign to try and help a rebel postman who informed people how to avoid junk mail win a prestigious Royal Mail award.

Roger Annies made national news in the summer after being suspended for gross misconduct for four weeks after launching an anti-junk mail campaign delivering leaflets alerting homeowners to the Royal Mail's opt-out clause for unsolicited mail.

After a national outcry, the father-of-one was reinstated but given a back-office desk job away from the public. He is now off work with stress.

It was reported that tens of thousands of households around the country applied for the opt-out clause since the News first broke the story of Annies' suspension in August, and Annies has also gained the support of the Communication Workers' Union.

The News has dedicated a front page to its campaign to see Annies crowned Postman of the Year at the company's First Class People awards. News reporter Richard Gurner, who came up with the idea of launching the campaign, said: "We heard about the Royal Mail's First Class People awards and I thought it would be a great idea to turn that around to support Roger. "If the response to our campaign is anything like the response when we first broke the story I think there shouldn't be any doubt that Roger should be awarded for his customer-focused attitude and public-spirited act. If Royal Mail was to ignore something as big as that, something's not right.

"He has become a folk hero here, and people identified with him and what he was trying to do. "He is a committed environmentalist and understood that many customers don't want junk mail. "I thought it would be nice to turn that support into something more substantial for Roger."

Royal Mail's opposition to Annies' action could stem from the fact the postal markets were opened up to rivals, causing competition from mailing companies such as TNT.

Royal Mail would not comment on the ongoing case.

The News urges readers to write in and nominate Annies. There are coupons inside the paper and nominations can also be made online at www.barryanddistrictnews.co.uk.

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