Union Boss threatens to escalate strike action at UK’s largest container port

The ongoing strike at Britain’s largest container port will escalate unless workers’ wages improve, trade union bosses said.

Some 2,000 workers at Felixstowe port who are members of the union union were laid off for eight days on 21 August after the union rejected an offer of a 7% pay raise and a single payment of £500 ($592). started a strike.

Employing around 2,550 people, the port handles around 4 million containers from 2,000 ships each year, nearly half of all container cargo entering the UK.

Addressing striking workers at the picket line on August 24, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said the disruption at the port was “not necessary” and that bosses would pay “10% less” than the union’s demand for wages. You just have to pay the increase,” he said.

“Unless they come back with a revised proposal, we will escalate this dispute because it is ridiculous to ask workers to take pay cuts when they are making such big profits. because there is,” she said.

Workers’ “Disappointment”

The port authorities criticized the union for not bringing the trade to union members.

A Port spokesperson said: Many people want to work and are upset that they are not allowed to vote on the latest company offers.

“United, they say they are a democratic union, but their words are not in line with their actions, driving a national agenda at the expense of many of their employees.”

The port said it offered a deal worth an increase of 8.1 to 9.6 percent. .

“Many employees say they want to go to work but find it too uncomfortable,” the spokesperson said.

trade turmoil

The strike could disrupt more than $800 million in transactions, according to an analysis by Russell Consulting earlier this month.

Logistics UK, the industry body representing the freight forwarding business, said it “does not expect any major disruption” from the strike as Felixstowe port is not a just-in-time delivery port.

Cold Chain Federation CEO Shane Brennan also said, “We do not foresee any major problems in the short term as a result of the strike,” telling Talk TV that container shipping “delays and rescheduling will be more flexible.” It could be,” he said. longer term game. ”

Lily Zhou and PA Media contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan