Striking Port of Felixstowe workers pictured doing conga as action set to cause supply chain chaos
Workers including crane drivers, machine operators and stevedores are taking action after voting by more than 9-1 in favour of strikes
Workers striking at the Port of Felixstowe have been pictured doing the conga as walkouts continue.
Around 1,900 members of Unite at Felixstowe have walked out in a dispute over pay in the first strike to hit the port since 1989.
It is the latest outbreak of industrial action to hit a growing number of sectors of the economy.
Workers including crane drivers, machine operators and stevedores are taking action after voting by more than 9-1 in favour of strikes.
And a few workers, pictured on the picket line, were seen laughing and dancing as the action continued.
Images also showed a handful of striking workers performing the conga.
The union said the stoppage will have a big impact on the port, which handles around four million containers a year from 2,000 ships.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham 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.
“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.”
While the Port of Felixstowe said 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.”