Port of Liverpool workers confirm two-week September strike action

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Unite the Union has confirmed that a two-week long strike action is to take place at the Port of Liverpool.

The walkout will take place between 6:00 am Monday 19 September and 6:00 am Monday 3 October.

The decision went ahead after a pay package of 8.3 per cent was rejected by the union, and following demands for greater pay increases.

Workers at MDHC container services at Peel Ports voted in August in favour of the strike.

In a ballot with an 88 per cent turnout, 99 per cent voted for strike action.

More than 560 port operatives and maintenance engineers will take strike action over the offer.

With the real rate of inflation, RPI, Unite the Union argued that the pay offer is essentially a cut.

Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham said: “MDHC is controlled by a tax-exiled billionaire and can well afford to pay these workers a proper pay rise. 

“Workers across the country are sick to death of being told to take a hit on their wages and living standards while employer after employer is guilty of rampant profiteering. MDHC needs to think again, table a reasonable offer and fulfil its previous pay promises.”

The Port of Liverpool is one of the UK’s largest container ports.

In August, staff at the Port of Felixstowe staged a major walkout over similar pay disputes. Container operations were stunted for a week at the UK’s largest container port. More strike action could continue in the run-up to Christmas.

David Huck, Chief Operating Officer at Peel Ports Group, operator at the port, said: “Despite a series of meetings, we are very disappointed Unite the Union has confirmed strike action by its Port of Liverpool Containers’ members.

“Whilst we fully appreciate our colleagues’ concerns on the rising cost of living, we have proposed an industry leading pay package of 8.3 per cent.

“This is all in addition to a 4.5 per cent increase in 2021, with improvements to shifts, sick pay and pensions, and following continuous and above-average pay awards over the last 10 years.”

Unite the Union commented that more strikes are set to be scheduled in the coming weeks if MDHC “fails to put forward an acceptable offer” to the workers.

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