Containers stuck at Felixstowe

Port of Felixstowe says union has rejected ‘improved position’

Thursday, August 11, 2022 - 08:19
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Container hauliers are facing severe disruption at Felixstowe Port after last ditch pay talks between management and the unions broke down yesterday.

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

Unite is warning that with almost half of the UK’s container traffic coming through Felixstowe, the strike action will hit the logistics and haulage sectors, supply chains and international maritime trade.

Unite national officer Robert Morton said “Strike action will cause huge disruption and will generate massive shockwaves throughout the UK’s supply chain, but this dispute is entirely of the company’s own making.

“It has had every opportunity to make our members a fair offer but has chosen not to do so.

“Felixstowe needs to stop prevaricating and make a pay offer which meets our members’ expectations.”

He added: “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.”

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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