Wildcat strikes could spread

Postal disruption: Action over saving second deliveries now threatens to spread to English sorting depots
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The widespread wildcat stoppages by postal workers in Scotland over new working practices intensified yesterday and threatened to spread to England, writes Barrie Clement.

Up to 5,000 of the 12,000 Royal Mail employees north of the border were estimated to be taking indefinite unofficial strike action in protest at alleged attempts to phase out second deliveries.

Yesterday increasing quantities of mail were being diverted to sorting offices in north-west England and union sources reported anger among mail workers there, who threatened to boycott the letters.

Leaders of the Communication Workers' Union repeated their plea to the Scottish wildcat strikers, mainly in the central part of the country, to end the action. They urged their English members to keep working. The unionis concerned it could be the subject of legal proceedings, but in Scotland it was also keen that services were working so that it could begin an official postal ballot.