We have received the following update from a local party with regards to the potential strike action at the Port Of Felixtowe which is due to start on 21st August 2022.
“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. The union has rejected the company’s offer to meet again.
We continue to work on operational contingency plans for the period from Aug 21st to Aug 29th and are also requesting Unite to clarify their strike notification / intentions, in particular as to whether planned action will be continuous or discontinuous.
We will communicate contingency plans as soon as we are in a position to do so and aim to give all customers as much notice as possible to aid them in planning their own operations through this period.”
As you can see from the above, Unite refused to put this to their members and I believe they instructed the port not to consult directly with them either. The above statement was posted on the port website though, so this may prompt further discussions. From our own discussions with the port this morning, they are not expecting the full workforce to strike and they do expect to remain operational in some capacity, but they cannot comment on how this will look just yet as they continue to work on contingency plans and wait for clarity on how “discontinuous strike action” will look.
Further to the above, the shipping lines will be looking into their own contingency plans and we are currently speaking with all of them to find out further information as to what these will be. Obviously this is fresh information so I would imagine it will take some time for them to put anything in place, but as soon as we have more information from them, we will update you with this.
We will continue to monitor the situation and advise of updates as and when we get them.