Workers at Felixstowe, the UK’s largest container port, are set to strike for eight days from Sunday 21st to Monday 29th August.
Like other strikes across the country, including rail, the dispute is over an offer of increased pay that does not match rising inflation, which the union argues effectively makes it a pay cut.
The final offer from the port was a 7% increase, after a 1.4% increase last year.
Almost half of all UK container traffic passes through Felixstowe, which serves 17 shipping lines and approximately 2,000 ships each year.
The strike, which is the first at the port since 1989, will hit domestic supply chains, logistics, haulage, and international maritime trade, causing disruption and delays.
As in other, similar industrial disputes, the company has framed the question of profitability around the need for future investments, while the union has focused on profits going to wealthy shareholders.
The port said that it understands employees’ concerns over the rising cost of living and will do what it can to help, “whilst continuing to invest in the port’s success”, and argued that it already “provides secure and well-paid employment”.
Unite, the union, argued that the port of Felixstowe and its Hong Kong-based parent company, CK Hutchison, are “massively profitable and incredibly wealthy” and had chosen to prioritise multi-million pound dividends over a decent wage.
Source: Sky News