Workers at the UK’s largest container port will go on strike for more than a week later this month due to a pay dispute.
More than 1,900 members of the Unite union in Felixstowe will go on strike for eight days from Sunday 21 August until Monday 29 August.
The union said employer Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company had failed to improve its offer of a 7 per cent pay rise, after rising only 1.4 per cent last year.
Almost half of the UK’s container traffic arrives via Felixstowe and Unite said the move would affect the supply chain, logistics and transport sectors, as well as international maritime trade.
This is the latest wave of industrial action by workers pushing for pay to keep up with the cost of living.
Unite country officer Bobby Morton said: “Strike action will cause major disruption and will send shockwaves through the entire UK supply chain, but this dispute is completely out of whack. provided by the company itself.
“It had every opportunity to make our members a fair offer but chose not to do so.
“Felixstowe needs to stop changing first and come up with a paid offer to meet our members’ expectations.”
‘Massively profitable and extremely rich’
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said both Felixstowe harbor and Hong Kong-based parent company CK Hutchison were “terrifyingly profitable and incredibly rich”, adding: “They absolutely can. pay the workforce a day’s worth of wages.
“The company has prioritized a multi-million pound dividend over paying employees a commensurate salary.
“Unite is fully focused on improving employment, pay and conditions for its members and will give its full support to the workers at Felixstowe until this dispute is resolved and the pay raise is deserved. guaranteed.”
More talks will take place on Monday.
In a statement provided to Sky News, a spokesperson for the port said: “The company continues to actively seek a solution that works for all parties and avoids industrial action.
“We understand our employees’ concern with the rising cost of living and are determined to do all we can to help while continuing to invest in the port’s success.
“Discussions are ongoing and the company’s latest position in negotiations is a 7% advance pay increase. We will meet again on Monday 8 August with Acas and the union.
“The port has not had a strike since 1989 and we are disappointed that the union sent a notice of industrial action while negotiations were underway. The port provided safe and well-paying jobs. pay well and there will be no winners from industrial action.”
The Department of Transport has also been contacted for comments.
Felixstowe welcomes about 2,000 ships a year, according to its website, including some of the largest container ships in the world.
About 17 shipping lines operate from the port, providing 33 services to and from more than 700 ports around the world.