Felixstowe, Suffolk, United Kingdom, September 21, 2022. Large Evergreen bulk container ship moored dockside. Being loaded unloaded dockside by port cranes. Illustrates international trade, economic growth and globalisation.
Staff at the Port of Felixstowe have staged their second walkout in a handful of weeks, compounding congestion problems in an already struggling UK supply chain.
Over 1,900 members of Unite the union began striking at 7:00 am on Tuesday 27 September with the eight-day strike ending on 6:59 am on Wednesday 5 October.
Strike action is resuming after Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company, owned by the multi-national port operator CK Hutchison, refused to return to negotiations following the initial eight days strike action in August.
Unite the union argued the company offered a 7 per cent pay increase on the workforce. This amounted to a real terms pay cut with the real inflation rate (RPI) currently standing at 12.3 per cent.
The workers rejected the imposed pay offer by 82 per cent on 78 per cent turnout.
The Port of Felixstowe said: “We are very disappointed that Unite has announced this further strike action at this time. The collective bargaining process has been exhausted and there is no prospect of agreement being reached with the union.”
“The port is in the process of implementing a very fair pay increase of 7 per cent plus £500.
“The pay award is effective from 1 January when CPI inflation was 5.4 per cent. One branch of Unite at the port has already put the same pay offer to their members who voted to accept it.
“The next pay rise is due 1 January 2023 and we will discuss that with Unite in the normal way.”
The beginning of the new strike at Felixstowe coincides with the ongoing strike action at the port of Liverpool.
It means that over 60 per cent of the UK’s container port capacity will be affected by industrial action.
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