Liverpool port strikes intensify as senior officials voted to join walkouts
Nearly 600 Liverpool port workers will take seven days of fresh strike action beginning on 11 October and ending on 17 October, according to the British trade union Unite.
As well as port operatives and engineers, who began two weeks of industrial action on 19 September, senior control room operators and control room operators have now voted to join the strikes.
In addition, the port’s dock masters, shift managers and vessel traffic services officers are also preparing to be balloted for strike action, according to Unite’s announcement.
The combined impact of so many roles striking means the entire port will face serious operational challenges.
The workers disagree with the decision of MDHC, part of Peel Ports, to offer a pay increase of around 8.3% with the real rate of inflation, RPI, at 12.3%.
The dispute is also over MDHC’s failure to honour the 2021 pay agreement, according to Unite, which noted that the company did not undertake a promised pay review, which last happened in 1995, and failed to deliver on an agreement to improve shift rotas.
“The anger amongst MDHC’s staff at the greed of this hugely profitable firm and its billionaire owner John Whittaker reaches from one end of the company to the other. Our members will not back down and neither will Unite. MDHC needs to keep its previous pay promises and put forward a proper pay rise now,” said Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham.
Unite national coordinator for free ports, Steven Gerrard pointed out that the disruption at the port of Liverpool is “entirely the fault of MDHC and Peel Ports”. He noted that “if even more staff walk out over the company’s insufficient pay offer, the entire port will literally become “inoperable”.