The Port of Liverpool, one of the largest ports in the UK, has announced that 125 of its dedicated dock workers are facing redundancy.
The decision comes as a consequence of a significant drop in container volumes, the BBC reported.
The management of the port, operated by Peel Ports, expressed deep regret over the necessity of this move, which they deemed “regrettable but unavoidable.”
Following extensive discussions with union officials, the company is poised to initiate formal consultation notices within the next 45 days. Currently, the port employs approximately 850 staff members.
According to the BBC, Peel Ports has vowed to make every effort to reassign affected staff to alternative positions within the business where possible.
The decline in container volumes has been a worrying trend. Data for the first half of 2023 reveals a 12 per cent reduction in UK container volumes, following a 7 per cent decline in the preceding year.
Ian Cressey, the Port Director, said: “This is a decision we have been wrestling with for many months and it’s the last thing anyone at the port wants to face.
“We deeply regret the impact this will have on our people, but the sustained and significant deterioration in the global container market has forced our hand.”
Unite the Union, representing the affected workers, has vowed to “leave no stone unturned in seeking alternative plans to the redundancies”, a spokesperson said.
In autumn of last year, workers at the port went on a months-long dispute over pay amid rising cost of living and inflation.