Workers set to strike at Felixstowe Port in Suffolk in dispute over pay

Workers at the Port of Felixstowe are to strike for eight days later this month. Credit: PA Images

Workers at the port of Felixstowe are to strike for eight days later this month in a dispute over pay.

Union bosses have revealed that workers at Britain's busiest container port are to take action, just a day after staff at an Amazon distribution site in Essex announced similar plans.

Members of the the Unite union at the port have voted to strike for eight days later this month in a dispute over pay.

They will walk out on August 21 after talks at the conciliation service Acas failed to resolve the row.

Unite said more than 1,900 workers at Felixstowe will be taking industrial action.

Rail workers have been staging industrial action since June

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 Ltd 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.”

The workers undertake manual roles at the docks including crane drivers, machine operators and stevedores.

Unite national officer Bobby Morton said: “Strike action will cause huge disruption and will generate massive shockwaves throughout the UK’s supply chain, but this dispute is entirely of the company’s own making.

“It has had every opportunity make our members a fair offer but has chosen not to do so.

“Felixstowe needs to stop prevaricating and make a pay offer which meets our members’ expectations.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Port of Felixstowe said: "The company continues to actively seek a solution that works for all parties and that avoids industrial action. We understand our employees’ concerns at the rising cost of living and are determined to do all we can to help whilst continuing to invest in the port’s success.

"Discussions are ongoing and the company's latest position in negotiations is an enhanced pay increase of 7%. We are meeting again on Monday 8 August with Acas and the union.

“The port has not had a strike since 1989 and we are disappointed that the union has served notice of industrial action while talks are ongoing. The port provides secure and well-paid employment and there will be no winners from industrial action.”

Further talks are scheduled to take place at Acas on Monday.

It comes just a day after the Bank of England raised interest rates to their highest level in 27 years in a bid to tackle inflation, set to peak at 13% in October.

Many rail workers are also involved in an industrial action over better pay and conditions.

Workers at an Amazon warehouse have staged a protest in a dispute over pay.

On Thursday he GMB union said hundreds of employees in Tilbury, Essex, stopped work after being given a pay rise of 35p an hour.

The union said workers were seeking a £2-an-hour rise to better match the demands of their job and cope with the cost-of-living crisis.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know