Workers at Britain’s largest container port are set to strike for more than a week later this month over pay disputes.
More than 1,900 members of the Unite union in Felixstowe will go on strike for eight days from Sunday 21st August to Monday 29th August.
The union said employer Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company had failed to improve its offer of a 7% pay rise after just 1.4% last year.
Almost half of UK container traffic goes through Felixstowe and Unite said the action would hit supply chains, the logistics and transport sector and international maritime trade.
It’s the latest round of industrial action by workers urging pay to keep up with the cost of living.
Bobby Morton, Unite’s National Officer for Docks, said: “Strike action will cause enormous disruption and unleash massive shockwaves across the UK supply chain, but this dispute is entirely of company origin.
“It had every opportunity to make our members a fair offer but decided against it.
“Extremely Profitable and Incredibly Rich”
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said both Felixstowe Docks and Hong Kong-based parent company CK Hutchison are “hugely profitable and incredibly wealthy”, adding: “They are fully capable of providing the workforce with a fair daily wage to pay.
“The company has prioritized paying millions of pounds in dividends rather than paying its workers a fair wage.
“Unite is solely focused on improving the jobs, wages and working conditions of its members and will give the workers in Felixstowe its full support until this dispute is resolved and a decent wage increase is secured.”
Further talks are expected to take place on Monday.
In a statement to Sky News, a spokesman for the port said: “The company continues to actively seek a solution that works for all parties and avoids industrial disputes.
“We understand our employees’ concerns at the rising cost of living and are committed to doing whatever we can to help as we continue to invest in the port’s success.
“Discussions are ongoing and the company’s latest bargaining position is an increased wage increase of 7%. We meet again with Acas and the union on Monday 8th August.
“The port has not gone on strike since 1989 and we are disappointed that the union has announced industrial action while talks are still ongoing. The port offers secure and well-paid jobs and there will be no winners in the industrial action.”
The Ministry of Transport has also been asked to comment.
According to its website, Felixstowe welcomes about 2,000 ships each year, including some of the largest container ships in the world.
Around 17 shipping companies operate from the port and offer 33 services to and from more than 700 ports around the world.
Felixstowe strike: workers at Britain’s largest container port out of work for eight days | business news
Source link Felixstowe strike: workers at Britain’s largest container port out of work for eight days | business news