Following a "sustained and significant deterioration" in container volumes at the port, the Port of Liverpool will commence redundancy consultations with workers in its container sector.
Given the current economic background, the port's management stated the decision was "extremely regrettable but unavoidable," adding that "where possible, every effort will be made to redeploy affected staff to alternative roles within the business."
According to estimates, UK container volumes fell by roughly 12% in the first half of 2023, following a 7% drop in 2022. According to economic and industrial predictions, no significant improvement is foreseen in the near future.
The decreases are the consequence of a number of causes, including decreased consumer demand for manufactured products as a direct result of the recession fueled by rising interest rates and wider geopolitical issues.
Following today's conversations with Unite the Union officials, the corporation plans to begin distributing formal consultation notifications to the union and employees at the container terminal, which employs around 850 people, indicating the prospect of up to 125 redundancies. The consultation should take 45 days.
"This is a decision we have been wrestling with for many months and it’s the last thing anyone at the port wants to face. We deeply regret the impact this will have on our people, but the sustained and significant deterioration in the global container market has forced our hand," stated Ian Cressey, port director of Liverpool Containers Division.
The port has said that it is open to voluntary redundancies and is committed to offering affected employees with career transition guidance and support, as well as assistance in finding other employment, if necessary.