Dockworkers at Liverpool Port walk out for second time as pay talks stall

Dockworkers at Liverpool Port went on strike for a second time yesterday (11 October) after pay talks between their union, Unite, and Liverpool Port owners Peel Ports stalled.

Workers walked out yesterday in support of demands for a 12.3% increase, and will strike until Monday 17 October, heaping further disruption on a port still trying to recover from a two-week strike that ended last week.

“Rather than enter into sensible negotiations, Peel Ports is making yet another cynical attempt to intimidate its workers,” Unite national officer Bobby Morton said in a statement announcing the new strike action.

Morton’s comments came after Peel Ports last week said that it will start redundancy consultations as it restructures the Liverpool container division following a “marked deterioration” in volume over the past few months. 

Unite has rejected Peel Ports’ offer of an average increase of 10.2% in basic pay. The union has called for a 12.3% average increase in public statements, but a Peel Ports spokesperson said the union has demanded a 15.7% increase for its members.

Workers represented by Unite also held an eight-day strike at Felixstowe, the UK’s largest container port, that ended earlier this week. The union rejected a pay offer of 7% from operator Hutchison Ports (UK), and further industrial action is expected, according to press reports.