New port strike underway in Felixstowe

Dock workers in major British port Felixstowe have called yet another eight-day strike, the second in a few weeks. A strike has also been announced in Liverpool. The strikes can result in new container delays.

Photo: Toby Melville/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The important UK container port Felixstowe may be struck by another eight-day strike from Sept. 27 to Oct. 5, according to Reuters.

The port workers’ union, Unite, has announced the strike, which is the second in a few weeks, after 82% of the members have rejected an offer from employer CK Hutchison regarding a wage raise of 7%.

The port workers are displeased with the offer, as inflation in the UK has passed 10% and is projected by the Bank of England to climb above 13% during October.

The wage offer thus represents a ”real terms pay cut,” according to Unite.

From Aug. 21-29, 1,900 dock workers carried out an eight-day strike as a protest against the wage negotiations, leading to a near doubling of waiting time for export containers at the port in only few days.

The union expects longer waiting time this time as well due to the announced strike.

”Further strike action will inevitably lead to delays and disruption to the UK’s supply chain but this is entirely of the company’s own making,” says Bobby Morton, Unite’s national officer for docks, according to Reuters.

Port company CK Hutchison rejects the possibility of reaching an agreement with Unite, as ”the collective bargaining process has been exhausted.”

The Port of Felixstowe handles around 48% of containers arriving in the UK.

Another port strike has been announced in Liverpool, where 580 dock workers are planning to strike from Sept. 19 to Oct. 3 due to dissatisfaction regarding wages.

It has been decades since the UK’s latest port strikes.

English edit: Kristoffer Grønbæk

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