Britain’s summer of discontent is set to continue after workers at the country’s biggest ports announced an eight day walkout over pay.
Nearly 1,900 workers at Felixstowe Port in Suffolk will stop work on August 21, a move expected to impact 40% of the UK’s container imports.
The industrial action encompasses staff who drive cranes and operate machinery, with operations expected to grind to a near halt.
The strike at Felixstowe was called after the Unite trade union said the port failed to improve its offer of a 7% pay increase.
A Department for Transport spokesman said: ‘This action by the union runs the risk of disrupting the delivery of vital supplies and freight, and we urge the union and port to remain at the table and agree a settlement.’
It’s not the first time there has been disruption at the port.
Bobby Morton, Unite’s national officer, said: ‘Strike action will cause huge disruption and will generate massive shock waves throughout the UK’s supply chain, but this dispute is entirely of the company’s own making.’
Felixstowe port said in a statement: ‘The company continues to actively seek a solution that works for all parties and that avoids industrial action.’
There has been no strike at the port since 1989.
August will see further disruption across the travel network, with train drivers from nine companies as well as London’s Tube and bus network expected to walk out.
Members of the Aslef union are due to strike on August 13, which will affect Arriva Rail London, Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry, Greater Anglia (including Stansted Express), Great Western, Hull Trains, LNER, London Overground, Southeastern and West Midlands Trains.
More rail strikes have been announced for August 18 and 20 by the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association and Unite.
A separate RMT walkout by London Underground staff is planned for August 19.
More than 1,600 London bus drivers are also poised to take strike action.
Members of Unite employed by London United will walk out on August 19 and 20.
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