Hundreds of Liverpool container workers brace for two-week strike | Marine industry

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Hundreds of workers at one of the UK’s biggest container ports will go on strike for two weeks from Monday night over a pay dispute, which could further disrupt shipping chains British supplies.

Members of Unite at the Port of Liverpool will begin industrial action hours after the Queen’s funeral, after they turned down a pay offer from Peel Ports Group, which owns the site.

The company said workers rejected an 8.3 per cent pay rise, backed by a one-off payment of £750. However, the union described the offer as a pay cut in real terms due to the skyrocketing rate of inflation during the cost of living crisis, arguing that the port owners could afford a higher increase. high.

The dispute will overlap with a second scheduled eight-day strike at Felixstowe, the UK’s largest container port, which begins the following week.

Unite members at the port of Suffolk, which handles nearly half of containerized cargo entering the UK, are preparing to halt work from September 27, after rejecting a 7% pay deal offered by the direction.

A previous eight-day strike at Felixstowe, which handles goods for 17 different shipping companies operating to and from 700 ports, brought it to a standstill.

The latest round of walkouts threatens further disruption to Britain’s supply chains after the shocks of Brexit and the Covid pandemic, and follows a summer of industrial action that has hit parts of the economy including railways iron, postal services, courts and telecommunications.

David Huck, Chief Operating Officer of the Port of Liverpool, said: “I am deeply disappointed that Unite rejected our large wage package after several months of negotiation. This is bad news for our employees, our families and other local employers.

“We fully recognize our colleagues’ concerns over the cost of living crisis, and that is why we have responded with a salary package which represents an average 10% increase in annual salary.”

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Workers across the country are sick of being told to take a hit to their wages and living standards as one employer after another is guilty of rampant profiteering.”

She said the owners of the port must submit a “reasonable offer and meet their previous wage promises”.

The company said it had committed to changing the work pattern which would result in a 25% reduction in night work. He also said the average salary for a container operator would rise to around £43,000 a year, well above the Liverpool average and the national average.

The Port of Liverpool operates two container terminals, the Royal Seaforth Container Terminal and Liverpool2, employing a total of 845 people in the container division.

The docks handled approximately 525,000 containers in 2021 and the goods inside the containers were distributed worldwide, with products including imports and exports, such as retail and industrial items.

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