Felixstowe port strike to go ahead after talks break down

Business

An eight-day strike at the UK’s biggest container port will go ahead after talks between bosses and unions broke down.

More than 1,900 members of Unite will strike from Sunday 21 August until Monday 29 August, unhappy with the 7% pay rise offered by Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company following a 1.4% increase last year.

A spokesman for the port authority said: “We are disappointed and regret that, despite our best efforts, we have still been unable to reach an agreement with the hourly branch of Unite.

“During talks yesterday the port further improved its position, offering a £500 lump sum in addition to 7%.

“The staff branch of Unite and the Police Federation of Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company have agreed to put a similar offer to their members.

“In contrast, the hourly branch of Unite has again rejected the port’s improved position and refused to put it to its members.

“We urge them to consult their members on the latest offer as soon as possible. There will be no winners from a strike which will only result in their members losing money they would otherwise have earned.

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“Our focus has been to find a solution that works for our employees and protects the future success of the port. The union has rejected the company’s offer to meet again.”

Read more:
Who is going on strike this month and when

Unite national officer Robert Morton said: “Felixstowe docks is massively profitable. In 2020 alone, it raked in £61m in pre-tax profits and paid dividends of £99m.

“It can afford to put forward a reasonable pay offer to our members but once again has chosen not to.

“That decision was driven by greed not need. Unite’s door remains open for further talks but strike action will go ahead unless the company tables an offer that our members can accept.”

Almost half of the UK’s container traffic comes through Felixstowe and Unite said the action would hit supply chains, the logistics and haulage sectors, as well as international maritime trade.

It is the latest round of industrial action by workers pushing for pay to keep up with the cost of living.

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