Workers at the port of Felixstowe are expected to begin strike action later this month in a dispute over pay after peace talks on the conciliation service at Acas failed to produce a reasonable offer.
Over 1,900 workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, will begin eight days of strike action on Sunday 21 August ending on Monday 29 August.
Talks at Acas failed to reach a satisfactory conclusion after the employer the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company failed to improve on its offer of a seven per cent pay increase, which is significantly below the real (RPI) inflation rate of 11.8%.
Industrial relations were already strained as workers only received a 1.4%, below inflation, increase last year.
Felixstowe is the UK’s largest container port and 48 per cent of containers brought into the UK are transported via the port.
Strike action will have a huge effect on the UK’s supply chain and will also cause severe disruption to international maritime trade, as well as the UK’s supply chain including the logistics and haulage sectors.
Unite national office for docks Bobby Morton said: “Strike action will cause huge disruption and will generate massive shockwaves throughout the UK’s supply chain, but this dispute is entirely of the company’s own making.
“It has had every opportunity make our members a fair offer but has chosen not to do so.
“Felixstowe needs to stop prevaricating and make a pay offer which meets our members’ expectations.”
Further talks are scheduled to take place at Acas today.