Hundreds of Liverpool’s dock workers have gone on strike for two weeks after rejecting an increased pay offer.

Unite members at the Port of Liverpool began the walkout yesterday (Monday, September 19) just hours after the Queen’s funeral.

Peel Ports Group, which runs the port, said workers had rejected an 8.3 percent pay increase plus a £750 one-time payment and have chosen to strike instead.

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The union Unite claimed the pay offer was actually a really terms cut because the port owner is unable to afford a higher increase.

David Huck, the port’s chief operating officer, said: “I am deeply disappointed Unite has rejected our significant pay package after many months of negotiation. this is bad news for our employees, families and other local employers.

“We fully recognise our colleagues’ concerns on the cost-of-living crisis, and that’s why we have responded with a pay package that represents a 10 percent average increase in annual pay.

“The Port of Liverpool is a major employer in the Liverpool City Region.

“We have invested more than £1.2b over the last decade, transforming the prosperity of the region, creating more than 900 new skilled jobs and, in turn, supporting more than 7,200 additional local jobs in the supply chain. We urge the union to work with us at the negotiating table so that together, we can find a resolution.”

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Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Workers across the country are sick to death of being told to take a hit on their wages and living standards while employer after employer is guilty of rampant profiteering.”

She said the port’s owners needed to table a “reasonable offer and fulfil its previous pay promises.”

The company also stated that it has committed to a shift pattern change that will result in a 25 percent decrease in the night shift working.

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The offer meant the average salary for container operatives would rise to around £43,000 per year, significantly higher than the Liverpool City Region and national averages, according to the report.

The Royal Seaforth Container Terminal (RSCT) and Liverpool2 are the two container terminals operated by the Port of Liverpool.

RSCT has connections to Canada, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Cyprus, and Turkey, as well as feeder services connecting Liverpool to India, Africa, South America, and the Far East.

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Liverpool 2 is one of Northern Europe’s most operationally efficient and modern terminals, capable of accommodating some of the world’s largest container ships.

The Port of Liverpool’s containers division employs 845 people and will handle approximately 525,000 containers in 2021.

The goods contained within the containers were distributed globally and included imports and exports such as retail and industrial products.

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In a separate pay dispute, Unite members at Felixstowe docks will strike for eight days beginning September 27, while train drivers at 12 rail companies will strike on October 1 and 5, disrupting travel to and from the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham.

Following months of strike action, long-running railway disputes remain unresolved.

Image credit: Harshil Shah Flickr

Source: Yahoo Life

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