Dockworkers at the container port in Liverpool, one of the largest in the UK, are to be balloted for strike action in a dispute over pay and conditions, Unite regional officer Steven Gerrard said on Tuesday July 19th.
The strike ballot will open on July 25th and close on August 15th. Stoppages at the port could begin at the end of August if workers vote to strike.
Unite union said that more than 500 dockworkers at MDHC Container Services, part of Peel Ports in Liverpool, would be asked to vote over industrial action after a 7% pay offer was deemed inadequate and workers were not given an agreed bonus.
“Strike action will inevitably severely affect shipping and road transport as well as creating shortages in supply chains,” Gerrard said.
The dockworkers being balloted are involved in port operations, including loading and unloading of containers.
Peel Ports said that the decision by Unite to hold a strike ballot was “extremely disappointing”. It noted that the shipping industry already faced supply chain disruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine.
Port director for Liverpool Containers at Peel Ports, Richard Mitchell, noted that Peel Ports had effectively increased pay by a range of 16% to 25% over the past three years at the Liverpool port, and that the company had boosted sick pay, night work allowance and pension contributions, he said.
“We remain committed to resolving the situation,” Mitchell said.