About 1,900 out of 2,550 people employed in the port of Felixstowe are taking part in the strike, organized by the trade union Unite. This is the first protest at a port on the east coast of England since 1989.
Unite members decided to strike in connection with disagreement with the port authorities on the amount of the increases. They rejected the proposed increase of 7 percent. plus a one-time bonus of £ 500 as this is below inflation. The port authorities indicate that the average salary there is 43 thousand. gross pounds per year, well above the national average, and the proposed increase is greater than wage growth in the economy as a whole
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Unite warns that the strike at the port, which handles almost half of the container loads entering the country, will have a significant impact on UK supply chains and the logistics and haulage sectors. However, a source in the port authority cited by PA agencies said the strike would be “an inconvenience, not a catastrophe,” explaining that after the coronavirus pandemic, supply chain disruptions “have become the new norm”.
The industry organization Logistics UK also stated that it does not expect massive disruptions, because Felixstowe is not a just-in-time (exactly on time) port, but deliveries are scheduled in advance. Nevertheless, many recipients of the goods are concerned about the possible complications.
Felixstowe harbor workers are another occupational group on strike, demanding increases to equalize wages with inflation. On Thursday and Saturday there were national strikes on the railways, and on Friday for this reason the London underground and some buses were out of service.
In July, the annual rate of inflation in the United Kingdom exceeded 10% for the first time since 1982.