Second strike announced for Port of Liverpool
With their first, two-week, strike still underway, the Unite union has announced a second, one-week, strike at Liverpool, saying an offer of an 8.3% pay rise and one-off £750 payment fell well short of the present 12.3% rate of inflation.
The strikes at Liverpool and Felixstowe have had little impact on our cargo flows, as we had time to prepare and Felixstowe have had some staff working, so the port has remained partially operational.
We are hopeful that staff and employers will reach an agreement at Felixstowe soon, but the situation at Liverpool looks particularly intractable as much of the union’s grievance concerns the operators (Peel Ports) failure to honour promises from the 2021 pay agreement, as well as its ‘refusal’ to put forward an acceptable pay rise for 2022.
We copy below the update received from Peel Ports dated 28th September:
” As you are aware, industrial action is due to come to an end this Monday 3 October, following two weeks of strikes by Unite the Union members.
Disappointingly, without a further ballot of its members, the union has now confirmed an extended period of strike action will take place between 06:00 hours from Tuesday 11 October to 06:00 hours Monday 17 October.
We are fully aware our colleagues have concerns on the economic and cost of living crisis which is affecting people and businesses across the UK.
For this reason, we have proposed an industry-leading offer, equivalent to a 10% pay increase, which includes an 8.3% pay package and a £750 one-off discretionary payment for each port operative.
We have worked long and constructively with the unions over the years, investing in training, transforming our safety culture and ensuring our pay awards keep ahead of inflation – even during the pandemic. This is also true for this year’s pay award and will be the same for the next one in the spring.
A prolonged dispute and an union seeking an unrealistic pay package, whilst rejecting an offer above inflation, is unreasonable and not sustainable for any business.
I have no doubt you will be as disappointed as we are by this renewed period of industrial action but, rest assured we will continue to urge the union to consider its position and return to the negotiating table.
Port Director, Liverpool Containers T1 & T2 “
We have limited cargo volumes moving through Liverpool, but contingency plans are in place, to avoid disruption, delays and congestion.
We will continue to report on developments as they happen, so that you have the facts to make informed decisions.