Rubbing it in – Striking workers at Felixstowe do the conga in the face of massive supply chain chaos.

As walkouts at the Port of Felixstowe continue, striking employees have been seen doing the conga. The first strike to affect the port since 1989 has caused some 1,900 Unite members in Felixstowe to leave in protest over wages.

It is the most recent wave of industrial action to affect an increasing number of economic sectors. Following a vote in favour of strikes by a margin of more than 9-1, workers, including crane drivers, machine operators, and stevedores, are taking action.

As the demonstration went on, several of the employees could be seen dancing and joking on the picket line. The suspension, according to the union, would have a significant effect on the port, which receives around four million containers annually from 2,000 ships. 

video
play-rounded-fill

Sharon Graham, the general secretary of Unite, said: “Felixstowe docks is enormously profitable. The latest figures show that in 2020 it made £61 million in profits.”

“Its parent company, CK Hutchison Holding Ltd, is so wealthy that, in the same year, it handed out £99 million to its shareholders.”

Major Brand Discounts

“So they can give Felixstowe workers a decent pay raise. It’s clear both companies have prioritised delivering multimillion-pound profits and dividends rather than paying their workers a decent wage.

“Unite is entirely focused on enhancing its members’ jobs, pay and conditions and it will be giving the workers at Felixstowe its complete support until this dispute is resolved and a decent pay increase is secured.”

The Port of Felixstowe responded in a statement: “The company is disappointed that Unite has not taken up our offer to call off the strike and come to the table for constructive discussions to find a resolution.”

“We recognise these are difficult times but, in a slowing economy, we believe that the company’s offer, worth over eight percent on average in the current year and closer to 10 percent for lower paid workers, is fair.”

“Unite has failed our employees by not consulting them on the offer and, as a result, they have been put in a position where they will lose pay by going on strike.”

“The port regrets the impact this action will have on UK supply chains. We are grateful for the support we have had from our customers and are working with them to mitigate disruption.”

“The port provides secure and well-paid employment and there will be no winners from this unnecessary industrial action.” SOURCE

Have your say by leaving a comment.