Almost 2,000 workers of the port giant Felixstowe today begin a week-long strike to ask for an improvement in their salary conditions
Almost 2,000 Felixstowe English Harbor Workersthe largest maritime trade facility in the United Kingdom and which channels almost half of the country’s container traffic, begins an eight-day strike this Sunday to demand better wage conditions.
This is the first forceful action taken by unions in Felixstowe since 1989. Called until next Monday (August 29)the strike may have consequences at the international level and joins other strikes called in recent days by other sectors, such as the railway or the London underground transport.
The Unite union has assured that its representatives have rejected the offer of a 7% salary increase, considering it “significantly below” inflation, which rose to 10.1% in July, its highest level in more than 40 years .
The Port of Felixstowe has indicated in a statement today that it is “disappointed” by the rejection of the union to his salary offer and although he recognized that the strike will be an “inconvenience” he assured that “it will not be a catastrophe”. After the pandemic, he has added the port authority, the supply chain is now “used” to various upheavals. “It’s the new normal.”
For her part, the general secretary of Unite, Sharon Graham, recalled that the port is “hugely profitable”, as evidenced by the fact that in 2020 it obtained profits of 61 million pounds (72 million euros). “You can afford to offer workers a decent salary increase“, has underlined the union leader.
Felixstowe, on the east coast of England, manages 4 million TEUs (a 20-foot container equivalent unit) each year and benefits from its proximity to European ports such as Le Havre (France), Antwerp (Belgium) and Rotterdam (Countries Low).
Furthermore, 60% of the commercial traffic between the United Kingdom and Asia passes through its facilities.
The wage earners called to strike include longshoremen, crane operators and other machinery.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.