Felixstowe: Dockers face strike

Strike in Felixstowe harbour

Nearly 1,900 workers will go on strike at the Port of Felixstowe in Suffolk (Image: PA/Getty)

Britain’s summer of discontent is set to continue after workers in the country’s main ports announced an eight-day strike over pay.

Almost 1,900 workers at Felixstowe Port in Suffolk will stop work on August 21, a measure expected to affect 40% of UK container imports.

The industrial action is affecting workers who drive cranes and operate machinery, with operations expected to come to a near standstill.

The strike in Felixstowe was called after the Unite union said the port had failed to improve its offer of a 7% pay rise.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “This action by the union risks disrupting the delivery of essential goods and cargo and we urge the union and the port to stay at the table and reach an agreement.”

It is not the first time that there have been disruptions in the port.

Last autumn, due to a lack of truck drivers, there was a backlog of containers, leading to shortages of some gifts and groceries for Christmas.

File photo dated 06/12/21 of a view of the Port of Felixstowe in Suffolk, Britain's largest and busiest container port. Workers at the leading container port have voted to go on strike over wage disputes. Members of the Unite union at the Port of Felixstowe in Suffolk backed industrial action 9-1. Issue date: Thursday July 28, 2022. PA Photo. The union said an offer of a 5% pay rise was an effective pay cut due to rising inflation. See PA story INDUSTRY Unite. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

There hasn’t been a strike in Felixstowe since 1989 (Image: PA)

CARDIFF, WALES - JULY 23: Empty shelves in a Tesco store on July 23, 2021 in Cardiff, UK. Supermarkets across the UK are emptying fresh produce and household items as Brexit's shortage of lorries combined with large numbers of staff being isolated due to Covid make frustrating efforts to restock shelves. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

The strike is feared to strain supply chains and lead to empty shelves (Image: Getty Images)

Unite National Officer Bobby Morton said: “The strike action will cause enormous disruption and unleash massive shockwaves across the UK supply chain, but this dispute is entirely the work of the company.”

The Port of Felixstowe said in a statement: “The company continues to actively seek a solution that works for all parties and avoids industrial disputes.”

There hasn’t been a strike in the port since 1989.

There will be further disruption across the travel network in August, with train drivers from nine companies London‘s subway and bus network is expected to be shut down.

Members of the Aslef union are due to strike on August 13, which will affect Arriva Rail London, Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry, Greater Anglia (including Stansted Express), Great Western, Hull Trains, LNER, London Overground, Southeastern and West Midlands Trains.

File photo dated 06/12/21 of a view of the Port of Felixstowe in Suffolk, Britain's largest and busiest container port. Workers at the leading container port have voted to go on strike over wage disputes. Members of the Unite union at the Port of Felixstowe in Suffolk backed industrial action 9-1. Issue date: Thursday July 28, 2022. PA Photo. The union said an offer of a 5% pay rise was an effective pay cut due to rising inflation. See PA story INDUSTRY Unite. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

A shortage of lorry drivers in Felixstowe led to a backlog of containers last autumn (Image: PA)

Further rail strikes have been announced for August 18 and 20 by the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) Union, the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association and Unite.

A A separate RMT strike by London Underground workers is planned for 19 August.

More than 1,600 London bus drivers are also ready to go on strike.

Unite members employed by London United will retire on August 19th and 20th.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/08/06/felixstowe-port-workers-set-to-go-on-strike-17137829/ Felixstowe: Dockers face strike

Justin Scacco

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