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Port of Felixstowe workers to strike after pay deal discussions fail



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Workers at the port of Felixstowe will begin strike action later this month in a dispute over pay after talks failed, the Unite union has announced.

More than 1,900 workers at the UK's largest container port will begin eight days of strike action on Sunday, August 21 to Monday, August 29.

Talks at conciliation service Acas failed to reach an agreement yesterday after employer, Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company, did not improve an offer of a seven per cent pay increase.

Around 48 per cent of containers brought into the UK are transported via the Port of Felixstowe. Picture:Felixstowe Museum
Around 48 per cent of containers brought into the UK are transported via the Port of Felixstowe. Picture:Felixstowe Museum

The union said that offer was 'significantly below the real (RPI) inflation rate of 11.8 per cent. Industrial relations were already strained as workers only received a 1.4 per cent, below inflation, increase last year.'

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: "Both Felixstowe docks and its parent company CK Hutchison Holding Ltd are both massively profitable and incredibly wealthy. They are fully able to pay the workforce a fair day’s pay.

"The company has prioritised delivering multi-million pound dividends rather than paying its workers a decent wage.

"Unite is entirely focused on enhancing its members’ jobs, pay and conditions and it will be giving the workers at Felixstowe its complete support until this dispute is resolved and a decent pay increase is secured."

The port workers who will go on strike will include crane drivers, machine operators and stevedores.

Unite national office for docks Bobby 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 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."

Further talks are scheduled to take place at Acas on Monday.