UK’s Liverpool Port Could ‘Grind to a Halt’ After Workers Vote to Strike
excerpted from gcaptain.com, August 15, 2022
More than 500 port workers at the Port of Liverpool are set to strike, bringing another one of the UK’s busiest ports to ‘grinding to a halt,’ the Unite trade union announced Monday.
The strike, the timing and duration of which have not yet been determined, comes after workers at Peel Ports-owned Mersey Docks and Harbour Company (MDHC) voted overwhelmingly in favor of the strike in response to an “inadequate” 7% pay raise offer.
“What’s happening at MDHC is another example of why workers in this country have had enough,” said Unite general secretary Sharon Graham. “Once again, a profitable company controlled by a tax-exiled billionaire is refusing to give its workers a cost-of-living pay rise. Our members at MDHC have Unite’s complete backing and support in these strikes for a fair pay rise.”
Maintenance engineers at MDHC could also vote to strike over the same pay offer, with an industrial ballot open starting today until August 24.
Strikes by either group of workers will have a severe impact on both shipping and road transport in Liverpool and the surrounding areas, Unite said.
“The responsibility for Liverpool container docks grinding to a halt will lie firmly with MDHC. Our members are struggling with rising living costs, yet MDHC, which is awash with cash, puts forward a completely inadequate offer. It needs to come back with a deal that meets our members expectations,” said Unite national coordinator Steven Gerrard. The latest comes after more than 1,900 workers at the Port of Felixstowe, the UK’s busiest container port, are set to strike for eight days later this month after failing to reach a pay deal with Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company, a unit of CK Hutchison Holdings. The workers there are also represented by Unite.
Hundreds of workers at Liverpool port vote to strike over pay
excerpted from reuters.com, August 15, 2022
LONDON, Aug 15 (Reuters) – More than 500 dockworkers at the Port of Liverpool, one of Britain’s largest container ports, have voted in favour of strike action over pay and working conditions, the Unite trade union said on Monday.
The industrial action would mean the port would be “grinding to a halt”, the union said, though it didn’t provide details on the start or duration of the strike.
The workers at Mersey Docks and Harbour Company (MDHC), which is part of Peel Ports, the second largest port group in the country, voted 99% in favour of the strike.
“Our members at MDHC have Unite’s complete backing and support in these strikes for a fair pay rise,” Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said.
Rising prices and stagnant real wage growth has seen a wave of strikes across Britain with rail, legal, aviation and refuse workers voting to take industrial action. read more
Peel Ports said it had offered a 7% increase to basic pay on top of a 4.5% pay increase last year and other improvements to shifts, sick pay and pensions.
The Bank of England forecasts inflation in the UK will reach 13% this year and Unite said this would result in a real terms pay cut for workers.
Peel Ports urged the union to keep talking to resolve the dispute.