Container deliveries to and from the Port of Felixstowe are facing severe disruption as over 1,900 workers prepare to stage an eight-day strike after negotiations on a wage hike failed to reach agreement this week.
However the strike may be averted if last ditch talks, scheduled to take place on Monday (8 August), reach an agreement.
Unite the union is warning that the planned industrial action, set to start on 21 August, will hit supply chains across the country. Felixstowe is the UK’s largest container port.
Members of the Unite union at the port have voted to strike for eight days later this month in the dispute over pay, after talks at the conciliation service Acas failed to resolve the row this week.
Unite said more than 1,900 workers at Felixstowe will be taking industrial action if planned talks on Monday fail to reach an agreement.
"Workers at the port of Felixstowe will begin strike action later this month in a dispute over pay after peace talks at the conciliation service Acas failed to produce a reasonable offer," Unite said.
The strike was called after Unite said the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company failed to improve on its offer of a 7% pay increase, describing it as “significantly below” inflation.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Both Felixstowe Docks and its parent company CK Hutchison Holding are both massively profitable and incredibly wealthy. They are fully able to pay the workforce a fair day’s pay.
“The company has prioritised delivering multi-million pound dividends rather than paying its 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.”