Railcrew strikes set to spread

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The Independent Online
Strikes by guards and catering crews, which yesterday caused the cancellation of around a half the services of seven train operators, are set to spread to a further nine companies. Timetables affected yesterday were those run by ScotRail; Regional Railways North East; North West Regional Railways; CrossCountry Trains; North London Railways; South Wales and West Trains and Merseyrail Electrics. Strike ballots are to begin this week at Anglia Railways; Cardiff Railways; Gatwick Express; Great Eastern Railways; Inter-City West Coast; London Tilbury and Southend Rail, Midland Main Line; South West Trains and Thames Trains. The result is due in mid- September.

Meanwhile, postal workers' leaders were due to meet today to decide whether to order a new round of strikes to follow the 24-hour stoppages scheduled for Friday and next Monday. Talks yesterday aimed at ending the prolonged dispute over management's productivity plans were said to be "difficult".