Unite, who represent 1,900 port workers, have declared they are on course to strike on 21st August for 8 days after talks broke down. The Felixstowe Port User Association state there are no further talks planned so the bleak prospect of strike action is becoming a reality unless there is a last minute intervention.
Port of Felixstowe press Release.
“We are disappointed and regret that despite our best efforts we have still been unable to reach an agreement with the hourly branch of Unite. During talks yesterday the port further improved its position offering a £500 lump sum in addition to 7%. The staff branch of Unite and the Police Federation of Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company have agreed to put a similar offer to their members.
In contrast, the hourly branch of Unite has again rejected the port’s improved position and refused to put it to its members. We urge them to consult their members on the latest offer as soon as possible. There will be no winners from a strike which will only result in their members losing money they would otherwise have earned. Our focus has been to find a solution that works for our employees and protects the future success of the port.”
From historic occasions, some very recent, when the port has been immobilised it has taken months to recover from and we are surprised am agreement hasn’t been found.
So now we are in contingency mode and are waiting for reactions from the ro/ro ferry operators. Our own options will include to route North but this is an extra cost and also we would expect delays as the service becomes full.
For container traffic it’s a particular problem as London Gateway, which has always benefitted from situations like this, is already running at capacity. This would then mean an absolute halt to supply chains. For certain the shipping lines will not look at the Port of Felixstowe favourably as another disaster looms large for them.
Rest assured as we hear more we will keep you informed.
The Jordon Team,