Dock workers at Tilbury have called a strike in a dispute over new contracts.
It will be the first walkout at the docks since 1989. The latest dispute has arisen over what unions have described as "the arbitrary introduction of new contracts".
Forty five employees of the Enterprise Distribution Centre (EDC) who are members of the union Unite will be staging a 24-hour strike from 10pm on Monday, May 7until 10pm, on Tuesday, May 8th.
EDC deals with the unloading and distribution of paper reels.
The workers will be picketing outside the main gate of Tilbury docks in the dispute over the company’s decision to introduce a ‘follow the ship’ contract.
The union says this means that staff will have to work when ships are ready for unloading and not at set shift patterns.Unite regional officer, Jane Jeffery said: “Our members are set to lose about £2,500-a-year because EDC is arbitrarily imposing these new contracts.“Members are annoyed at the complete lack of negotiation and consultation. Since the ballot for strike action, we have had no formal communication with the company.“We want to hold meaningful and genuine talks with the management on this issue. This is a 24-hour strike – the first by the dockers in 23 years - but more strikes could be on the cards, if there is no movement in this dispute.”