Workers at the UK’s largest container port at Felixstowe today launched a new strike action due to an ongoing dispute over pay.
Over 1,900 members of the British trade union, Unite, began strike action at 07:00 (local time) on 27 September. The strike is expected to end on 5 October at 06:59 (local time).
This is the second walkout of Port of Felixstowe workers after the strike action at the end of August. Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company, owned by the port operator CK Hutchison, refused to return to negotiations where they were a 7% increase was offered to the workforce.
“This amounted to a real terms pay cut with the real inflation rate (RPI) currently standing at 12.3%,” the union said.
The workers rejected the imposed pay offer by 82% on 78% turnout.
“This is a tremendously wealthy company which can fully afford to pay its workers a fair pay increase but has chosen not to in order to boost their already huge profits. Unite is now entirely focused on promoting and defending the jobs, pay and conditions of its members. The Felixstowe dock workers are receiving the union’s unflinching support,” Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham said.
The union claimed that over 60% of UK’s container port capacity will be affected by the industrial action.
“This latest round of strike action will inevitably cause huge disruption at Felixstowe and send shockwaves through the UK’s supply chain but this dispute is entirely of the company’s own making. It has been given every opportunity to negotiate an agreement but it has refused to do so,” Unite official, Bobby Morton, said.
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