A fatal accident on the 4 December 2011 in which a Svitzer employee fell over board may now have consequences for the entire Port of Liverpool. After the accident, two Svitzer employees were sacked on suspicions of drunkenness at job which has now caused the trade union, Unite, to call for a strike in the tug boat crews.
A date for the strike has still not been fixed but an activist has told Lloyd’s List that it may begin as soon as next week. This may cause disruptions in the operations of one of the biggest ports on the British West Coast.
“We are extremely disappointed to find out that the trade union has voted yes to a strike and the company is now trying to clarify the details about the announced action. We are willing to do whatever we can in order to minimise the consequences to our clients”, a spokesperson from Svitzer says in a press release.
The spokesperson from Svitzer confirms that the two employees were dismissed because of gross misconduct as Svitzer had “considerable proof” they had been drinking at work which is in violation with the company intoxicants policy.
The owner of the Port of Liverpool, Peel Ports Mersey, considers the situation to be very serious. It appears from a comment in which the operations of Svitzer are considered a vital part of the port’s operations and that the company regards a possible strike as worrying.