A redundancy consultation process is soon to begin at the Port of Liverpool following continued strike action at the UK port.
Operator Peel Ports Group (PPG) said the northwest port has seen an increasing decline in the movement of container cargo to its facilities in recent months.
Reported by the BBC, PPG said decline in vessel charter rates and container throughput meant that redundancies are being considered.
“The Port of Liverpool is to restructure its containers division and will next week start a redundancy consultation process, following a marked deterioration in the volume of containers handled by the port,” a representative for the firm said.
“We are exploring a number of different options to try and protect as many jobs as possible, including redeploying staff in other areas of the business which are less exposed to the economic crisis.
“Whilst this is an extremely regrettable situation, as a responsible employer, we need to restructure now in order to minimise the potential greater impact the downturn in container business will have on jobs, further down the line.”
The ongoing dispute regards rejected pay rise offers from PPG to the workers.
Mersey Docks and Harbour Company (MDHC)’s latest pay offer of around 8.3 per cent was rejected as, according to the union, with the current rate of inflation at 12.3 per cent represents a pay cut.
The dispute is also taking place over MDHC’s failure to honour its 2021 pay agreement promising a pay review and failing to improve shift rotas.
MDHC is part of Peel Ports and is owned by the Peel Group. Some of the Liverpool port dock masters are employed under Peel Ports Investments.
Container volumes through UK ports fell by 17 per cent during the last financial crisis and this took several years to recover.
PPG said it is widely expected the current economic challenges may lead to a much higher fall in disposable income over the coming 12 to 24 months.