Workers at UK’s largest container port Felixstowe to start 8-day strike

Workers at UK's largest container port Felixstowe to start 8-day strike
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A view shows stacked containers at the port of Felixstowe, Britain, on October 13, 2021. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

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LONDON, Aug 21 (Reuters) – More than 1,900 workers at Britain’s biggest container port are due to start an eight-day strike on Sunday that their union and shipping companies warn could seriously affect trade and supply chains.

Staff at Felixstowe, on England’s east coast, are taking industrial action in a wage dispute, becoming the latest striking workers in Britain as unions demand higher wages for members facing a cost crisis. of life.

“The strike will cause major disruption and send massive shockwaves throughout the UK supply chain, but this dispute is entirely the fault of the company itself,” said Bobby Morton, national docks officer for the Unite union.

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“It’s [the company] has had every opportunity to make a fair offer to our members, but has chosen not to.”

On Friday, Felixstowe operator Hutchison Ports said it believed his offer of a 7% wage increase and a lump sum of 500 pounds ($604) was fair. He said the port workers’ union, which represents some 500 employees in supervisory, engineering and clerical roles, had agreed to the deal.

Unite, which mainly represents port workers, says the proposal is significantly below the current rate of inflation and followed a below-inflation increase last year.

“The port regrets the impact this action will have on UK supply chains,” a Hutchison Ports spokesman said.

The port said it would have a contingency plan and was working to minimize disruptions during strikes that will last until Aug. 1. 29

Maersk shipping group (MAERSKb.CO)one of the world’s largest container carriers, warned that the action would have a significant impact, causing operational delays and forcing it to make changes to its ship line.

Figures published on August 8. 17 showed that Britain’s consumer price inflation hit 10.1% in July, the highest since February 1982, with some economists forecasting it to hit 15% in the first three months of next year amid the rising energy and food costs. read more

The decline in household income has already sparked strikes by rail and bus workers demanding higher wage increases.

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Information from Michael Holden

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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