Nearly 600 Liverpool port workers will take two more weeks of strike action over pay and jobs from 24 October to 7 November, according to the British trade union, Unite.
"Since the strikes at the docks began on 19 September, the workers have been subject to job threats despite plans to expand the port and untrue statements that they are being offered 10.2% by the company. The real offer is around 8.2%, a pay cut while the RPI inflation rate is at 12.3%," said the union in a recent statement.
Unite said that Peel Holdings, the owner of the Port of Liverpool, has agreed to pay its workers at shipbuilder Camel Laird in Birkenhead an 11% increase and demands a similar offer for Liverpool dockers.
"Peel Holdings is hugely profitable and can absolutely afford to pay our members a proper wage increase. It did so at Camel Laird, so why not at Liverpool docks?" pointed out Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, who added, "Instead of negotiations to resolve this dispute, the company has chosen to threaten jobs and repeatedly mislead about the deal it has tabled. Our members are standing firm, and have their union’s complete support. The company must put forward a pay rise they can accept or this strike continues."
The dispute is also over the failure to honour the dock workers’ 2021 pay agreement, said Unite's announcement. "This includes the company not undertaking a promised pay review, which last happened in 1995, and failing to deliver on an agreement to improve shift rotas," it added.
Unite national coordinating officer for free ports, Steven Gerrard commented, "If Peel had genuinely offered 10.2% to all grades, we would ballot our members. But they haven’t, nor have they addressed their failure to implement 2021’s pay agreement. Our members won’t put up with being treated as second-class employees of the group. Unite’s message to Peel is ‘stop the threats and misleading statements and put a proper offer on the table’."