Felixstowe port prepares for strike action
Workers at Felixstowe, the UK’s largest container port, have voted in favour of strike action in a dispute over pay.
It’s estimated that around half of all the UK’s container traffic comes through the port. The UK logistics and haulage sectors, supply chains and international maritime trade are all expected to be affected by the strike action.
According to the trade union Unite, workers recorded a 92% vote for industrial action on an 81% turnout.
The strike action is due to take place for eight days at the end of July, from 21st to 29thAugust.
Unite claims that the dispute is a result of the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company offering a pay increase of 5% to its workers. It said: “This is an effective pay cut with the real (RPI) rate of inflation currently standing at 11.9%. Last year the workforce received a below inflation pay increase of 1.4%.”
Seeking a solution
Addressing the action, Felixstowe Port said that the company “continues to actively seek a solution that works for all parties and that avoids this industrial action.
“We understand our employees’ concerns at the rising cost of living and are determined to do all we can to help whilst continuing to invest in the port’s success.”
The statement added that discussions are on-going and the company’s latest position in negotiations is “an enhanced pay increase of 7%.”
It said: “The port provides secure and well-paid employment and there will be no winners from industrial action. The port has not had a strike since 1989 and we are disappointed that the union has served notice of industrial action while talks are still ongoing.”
The company is meeting again with ACAS and the trade union on Monday 8th August.