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British trade union announces eight-day strike action at Port of Felixstowe

British trade union Unite has announced that over 1,900 workers at the port of Felixstowe, who are union members, will begin eight days of strike action from 21 August until 29 August.

This decision is a result of a dispute over pay after talks at the conciliation service Acas failed.

According to Unite's statement, talks at Acas failed to reach a satisfactory conclusion on 4 August after the employer the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company failed to improve on its offer of a 7% pay increase, which is significantly below the real (RPI) inflation rate of 11.8%, while workers received a 1.4% increase last year.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham commented, “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.”

Graham went on to point out, “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.”

With further talks scheduled to resume at Acas today, 8 August, Unite national office for docks, Bobby Morton believes that strike action at Unted Kingdom's largest container port “will cause huge disruption and will generate massive shockwaves throughout the UK’s supply chain.”

Morton said 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.”

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

Antonis Karamalegkos
Managing Editor

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