UK’s busiest container port set for 8-day strike

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LONDON: Workers in the UK’s largest container port are set to go on an eight-day strike at the end of August, union bosses said Friday (Aug. 5) in the country’s latest union action over wages amid rising inflation.

“Workers at the Port of Felixstowe will go on strike later this month in a wage dispute following peace talks… which failed to produce a reasonable offer,” the Unite union said in a statement.

More than 1,900 workers will be on strike for eight days from August 21 to 29.

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The union said port operator, the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company, had “not improved its offer of a seven percent pay rise,” with inflation expected to hit 13 percent later this year.

“Felixstowe Docks and its parent company CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd are both hugely profitable and incredibly wealthy. They are fully capable of paying staff a fair daily wage,” said Unite general secretary Sharon Graham.

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Felixstowe, in the east of England, is the UK’s largest container port, handling 48 percent of the containers entering the country.

“Strikes will create massive disruptions and will send huge shockwaves across the UK supply chain, but this dispute is entirely company-driven,” said Bobby Morton, Unite’s National Officer for Docks.

The UK is embroiled in disputes over pay and working conditions, and economic headwinds are set to intensify later this year.

Hundreds of workers at an Amazon warehouse in the UK took down tools on Thursday in protest at a wage increase of 35 pence (41 euro cents, 42 US cents) per hour.

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The GMB union said staff at its warehouse in Tilbury, South East England, are seeking a £2 an hour raise to help them cope with the cost of living crisis.

Train workers recently brought the country’s network to a virtual standstill as they staged their biggest strikes in three decades.

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