Postal workers in west Lancashire have told bosses they will walk out if they are asked to deliver free promotional copies of The Sun newspaper this week.
The tabloid is giving away 20m copies of a World Cup mini-issue on Thursday across England, with the exception of Liverpool because of the continued anger at the way it reported the Hillsborough stadium disaster in 1989.
However, it is understood that six members of staff in Skelmersdale’s Royal Mail branch in west Lancashire were at Hillsborough on the day of the disaster.
The Royal Mail said any concerns would be handled with fairness and dignity and the postal staff’s stance was backed by Skelmersdale North councillor Neil Furey.
“Skelmersdale has a strong Merseyside connection and people will be disgusted to receive copy of the newspaper whose coverage after the disaster was very damaging and insulting,” he told the BBC.
A spokesman for The Sun said it had exempted Merseyside postcodes from its promotion, adding, “the Skelmersdale issue is a matter for the Royal Mail”.
Carl Webb, the Communication Workers Union’s regional secretary, said this was not an official dispute but the union was seeking mediation with management.
There has been a campaign to boycott the newspaper on Merseyside ever since it published an article just days after the disaster, headlined ‘The Truth’, which made allegations about fans’ behaviour at Hillsbrough.
It published a full page apology in 2004 and, in 2011, James Murdoch, the then executive chairman of its parent company News International, issued a further apology on the paper’s behalf.