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Felixstowe dock workers set fresh strike dates

Unite the Union via Flickr Workers on the picket line at Felixstowe, September 2022
Workers on the picket line at Felixstowe, September 2022
Pay talks at the UK’s main container port Felixstowe have broken down and workers have announced an eight-day strike.

Strike action will begin at 0700 hrs on Tuesday September 27, running through to 0659 hrs on Wednesday October 5, according to Unite the union.

Felixstowe handles some 48% of the UK’s container goods, and disruption is inevitable, said Unite: “Further strike action will inevitably lead to delays and disruption to the UK’s supply chain but this is entirely of the company’s own making.”

Union leaders placed the blame for the strikes at the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company and its owner Hutchison. The company refused to improve its pay offer of 7%, said Unite, despite inflation running at 12.3% in the UK according to the retail price index.

“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,” said the company.

“The port is in the process of implementing the 2022 pay award of 7% plus £500 which is backdated to 1 January 2022.”

The vote to reject the pay offer was 82% of a 78% turnout, said the union.

The strike will overlap with another UK port strike in Liverpool. Dockworkers at the port of Liverpool are set to strike between between 19 September and 3 October.

Unite accused port operator Mersey Docks and Harbour Company (MDHC) of offering a 7% pay increase at a time of 12.3% inflation, effectively a pay cut for workers.

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