Sep 13, 2022
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Felixstowe port workers plan second eight-day strike

Sep 13, 2022

The next wave of UK port strikes is on the horizon, adding another layer of concerns for retailers in the run up to the all-important Christmas trading period.

Photo: Pixabay/Public domain

Felixstowe is again under the threat of a second eight-day strike in an ongoing pay dispute. It is scheduled to run across 27 September-5 October. If it goes ahead, some of the planned strike will coincide with workers at the port of Liverpool also walking out across 19 September-3 October, in another row over pay.

The port of Felixstowe said it has received notice from the Unite union after it announced that the “collective bargaining process has been exhausted and there is no prospect of agreement being reached with the union”.

It added: "The port is in the process of implementing the 2022 pay award of 7% plus £500 which is backdated to 1 January 2022."

More than 1,900 workers at Felixstowe, the country's biggest container port, walked out last month in the first strike at the port since 1989. Reports suggested that the effects of the last port strike were diminished as nearby ports in the southeast of England increased capacity. Goods passing through the ports of Southampton and London Gateway soared during the strike period with figures showing both picked up trade diverted from Felixstowe.

But Felixstowe is Britain’s largest container port, typically accounting for nearly half the country’s container movements. It’s responsible for much of the imported goods in supermarkets, as well as clothing, furniture and toys. As Christmas approaches, any strikes at the port will affect the flow of goods, even if others take up some of the slack. That's especially the case if strikes are seen at other UK ports.

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