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Felixstowe port staff set for 2nd strike in pay dispute

A brand new eight-day strike looms over pay at the United Kingdom’s greatest container port, Felixstowe, threatening additional disruption to imports as shops top off prior to Christmas.

The Unite union has introduced the strike will start at 7am on 27 September, and run till 6.59am on 5 October, after port staff rejected a 7% pay deal presented by way of control. It threatens to purpose recent disruption to UK provide chains after the shocks of Brexit and the Covid pandemic.

Felixstowe handles virtually part the container freight that enters the United Kingdom, with about 17 other transport strains running to and from 700 ports. A prior eight-day strike introduced the port to a standstill.

Unite, which represents 1,900 blue-collar staff on the port, stated control on the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Corporate unilaterally ended pay talks closing week after refusing to toughen its pay be offering and as a substitute introduced it used to be implementing a pay deal of seven% on its group of workers.

Unite stated staff had “overwhelmingly rejected” the pay deal, which it described as a “sizeable pay lower”. Shopper value inflation used to be 10.1% within the 365 days to July, and is more likely to head above 13% in coming months. Employees voted to reject the imposed pay be offering by way of 82% on a 78% turnout.

The corporate stated: “We’re very dissatisfied that Unite has introduced this additional strike motion at the moment. The collective bargaining procedure has been exhausted and there is not any prospect of settlement being reached with the union.

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“The port is within the technique of imposing the 2022 pay award of seven% plus £500 which is backdated to at least one January 2022.”

The pay upward thrust used to be due on 1 January, when inflation used to be so much decrease. Some other pay spherical begins subsequent January. Some other department of Unite represents 500 staff on the port, and has approved the pay deal.

The corporate is owned by way of the multinational port operator CK Hutchison, which is registered within the Cayman Islands.

The Unite normal secretary, Sharon Graham, stated: “Felixstowe and CK Hutchison are each eye-wateringly rich however slightly than be offering a good pay be offering, they’ve as a substitute tried to impose an actual phrases pay lower on their staff.

“For the reason that starting of this dispute Unite has given its overall improve to its participants at Felixstowe and that may proceed till this dispute is resolved.”