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Workers begin new round of strikes at Port of Felixstowe

Workers at the UK’s largest container port at Felixstowe have launched a new strike action today (27 September) due to an ongoing dispute over pay.

Over 1,900 members of the British trade union, Unite, began strike action at 07:00 (local time) on 27 September. The strike is expected to end on 5 October at 06:59 (local time).

This is the second walkout of Port of Felixstowe workers after the strike action at the end of August. Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company, owned by the port operator CK Hutchison, refused to return to negotiations, offering a 7% increase in the workforce.

"This amounted to a real terms pay cut with the real inflation rate (RPI) currently standing at 12.3%," pointed out Unite. The workers rejected the imposed pay offer by 82% on 78% turnout.

"This is a tremendously wealthy company which can fully afford to pay its workers a fair pay increase but has chosen not to in order to boost their already huge profits. Unite is now entirely focused on promoting and defending the jobs, pay and conditions of its members. The Felixstowe dock workers are receiving the union’s unflinching support," commented Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham.

At the time of writing, workers at two major UK container ports, Felixstowe and Liverpool, are on strike action. That means that over 60% of the UK’s container port capacity will be affected by industrial action, according to Unite.

Unite national officer, Bobby Morton noted, "This latest round of strike action will inevitably cause huge disruption at Felixstowe and send shockwaves through the UK’s supply chain but this dispute is entirely of the company’s own making. It has been given every opportunity to negotiate an agreement but it has refused to do so."

Antonis Karamalegkos
Managing Editor

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