Shockwaves looming over supply chain as Felixstowe port strike goes ahead

Shockwaves loom over supply chain as Felixstowe port strike goes ahead

British trade union Unite has announced that staff at the Port of Felixstowe will begin an eight-day strike at the end of the month.

More than 1,900 members of Unite union at Felixstowe will strike from 21 until 29 August in a dispute over pay.

The union said that employer Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company has failed to improve on its offer of a 7 per cent pay increase, following only a 1.4 per cent increase last year below inflation.

“Both Felixstowe docks and its parent company CK Hutchison Holding Ltd are both massively profitable and incredibly wealthy. They are fully able to pay the workforce a fair day’s pay,” said Unite General Secretary, Sharon Graham.

“The company has prioritised delivering multi-million pound dividends rather than paying its workers a decent wage.

“Unite is entirely focused on enhancing its members’ jobs, pay and conditions and it will be giving the workers at Felixstowe its complete support until this dispute is resolved and a decent pay increase is secured.”

As Felixstowe is the UK’s largest container port, Unite said strike action will have a huge effect on the country’s supply chain – including the logistics and haulage sectors – and will also cause severe disruption to international maritime trade.

Settlement talks will resume on 8 August.

In the meantime, Danish giant Maersk has warned customers of potential disruptions the walkout may cause. The carrier is assessing the impact of the strike and planning appropriate contingencies.

The news follows a third strike within a handful of weeks that took place in Germany following a collapse in negotiations between dockworkers and employers.

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