The workers' strike action at the Port of Liverpool began yesterday (19 September) and is expected to last until 3 October.
Today, on 20 September, global transport unions, such as the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), announced their support to 560 Liverpool striking dockers.
ITF and ETF said they fully support the struggle of the British trade union Unite dockers and other port workers in Liverpool taking industrial action for a decent pay deal.
“In the face of soaring inflation in the United Kingdom, with some economists predicting that the rate of inflation will rise to 20% by January, the Liverpool dockers’ pay demands are measured and reasonable,” noted Paddy Crumlin, ITF President and Dockers’ Section Chair.
He went on to add, “As the cost of essentials like food, energy and petrol continue to rise to astronomical levels, we are seeing employer after employer gouge profits at the expense of workers’ livelihoods and living standards. Working people have had enough – and that's why 560 Liverpool dockers have walked out the gate on strike.”
MDHC is owned by Peel Ports Group, the UK’s second largest port group. The company offered a 7% wage increase, plus a one-off payment of £750, which was rejected by the workers.
“Senior management should be offering a deal that reflects the dangerous and vital work dockers do, an offer that doesn’t financially hammer them during a cost of living crisis,” said Crumlin. “Fair pay for a fair day’s work is all that’s being asked, and MDHC can afford to show they appreciate their workforce at the pay packet.”
Crumlin pointed out that international dockers unions will support workers until the dispute reaches a settlement, with leaders joining the picket line in Liverpool on 21 September.
According to a statement, the port operations staff are also striking over MDHC’s failure to honour its promise last year to undertake a pay review, which last happened in 1995.
“No one wants a strike, but it’s been forced on workers unnecessarily,” said Marc Loridan, ETF Dockers’ Section Chair, who continued, “With over 99% of dockers voting for strike action, the workforce is united, and the global dockers community is equally united behind them. Should the European dockers unions receive any additional request of solidarity according to the known routes, full support and mobilisation will be ensured for the success of the strike.”