Workers at the UK’s biggest container port will go on strike for more than a week in August. The union said the move would affect supply chains, the logistics and freight sectors and international maritime trade, as almost half of the country’s container traffic passes through Felixstowe. Felixstowe welcomes over 2,000 ships a year, including some of the world’s largest container ships. 17 shipping companies operate in the port which is connected to more than 700 ports in the world. Sky News reports.
More than 1,900 members of the union in Felixstowe will go on strike from August 21 to August 29. Workers complain that the employer has consistently offered only 7 percent raises and, in addition, received only a 1.4 percent pay rise last year.
Union general secretary Sharon Graham said the Port of Felixstowe and its parent company, Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison, were both “highly profitable and incredibly wealthy” and could therefore “easily pay their workers a decent wage instead of paying out multi-million pound dividends”. “..
A spokeswoman for the port told Sky News they were still looking for a mutually satisfactory solution and were trying to avoid a strike.
“We understand the concerns of our employees about the increase in the cost of living. We are doing our best, but we still consider the successful operation of the port as the most important thing,” he said.
The port has not gone on strike since 1989, and talks will take place on Monday.