Postal workers continue unofficial strike action

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The Independent Online

Postal workers staged a third day of unofficial strike action today, which further disrupted mail deliveries, in their bitter row over pay, jobs and pensions.

Thousands of postmen and women took wildcat action in Liverpool and parts of London in protest at new shift patterns.

Meanwhile talks aimed at resolving the long-running dispute will resume later today in a bid to avert a fresh round of official strikes called by the Communication Workers Union from next Monday.

Up to 130,000 union members have taken two 48 hour strikes in the past week which crippled mail deliveries across the country.

The dispute was inflamed when many postal workers took exception to being told their shift times had changed.

An estimated 600 postal workers across Merseyside were on strike again today affecting 17 offices in the area.

Union officials claimed that at Liverpool's main sorting office workers were told that if they started work they would be accepting the new shift hours.

Union official Mark Walsh said: "They turned up today to work and were told that if they started work they would be accepting the new hours.

"They are really wound up, they are very bitter at what is being done. They almost feel like they are being bullied into having their contract changed."

Workers also took wildcat action in east, south-west and south-east London, including a busy mail centre at Nine Elms .

Talks between the two sides will resume later today.

The Royal Mail said about 30 offices were affected by today's unofficial strikes out of a total of 1,500.