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Workers at Felixstow, the UK’s largest container port, are set to start an 8-day strike

Workers at Felixstow, the UK's largest container port, are set to start an 8-day strike

A view shows shipping containers stacked in the port of Felixstowe, Britain, October 13, 2021. The photo was taken by a drone. Photograph: Hannah McKay/Reuters

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LONDON (Reuters) – More than 1,900 workers at Britain’s largest container port are set to begin an eight-day strike on Sunday that their union and shipping companies warn could seriously affect trade and supply chains.

Employees in Felixstowe, on the east coast of England, are taking an industrial strike in a wage dispute, becoming the latest workers to strike in Britain as unions demand higher wages for members facing a cost-of-living crisis.

“The strike will cause significant disruption and generate massive shock waves throughout the UK supply chain, but this disagreement is entirely company-made,” said Bobby Morton, the national official for Unite docks.

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“He. She [the company] He has had every opportunity to make a fair offer to our members but he has chosen not to do so.”

Hutchison Ports, operator of Felixstowe, said on Friday it believed its offer of a 7% pay increase and a total of 500 pounds ($604) was fair. She said the dockers union, which represents about 500 employees in supervisory, engineering and clerical roles, had accepted the deal.

Unite, which mainly represents dockers, says the proposal is well below the current rate of inflation, and has followed a lower inflation rate than last year.

A Hutchison Ports spokesperson said: “The port regrets the impact this measure will have on UK supply chains.”

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The port said it would have a contingency plan, and was working to reduce disruptions during the strikes, which will last until August 29.

Maersk Shipping Group (MAERSKb.CO)One of the world’s largest container shipping companies warned that the measure would have a significant impact, causing operational delays and forcing it to make changes to its ship lineup.

Figures released on August 17 showed that consumer price inflation in Britain reached 10.1% in July, the highest level since February 1982, and some economists expect it will reach 15% in the first three months of next year amid rising energy and food costs. Read more

The pressure on family income has already led to strikes by the likes of railway and bus workers to demand higher wage increases.

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Michael Holden reports

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.