Liverpool Port Says Strike to Hurt Region’s Gains as Trade Hub

Date: Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Source: Bloomberg

A dockworkers’ strike at the Port of Liverpool undermines the progress the region has made to become an important UK gateway for global trade, an executive with port’s owner said.

“This dispute is damaging not only for us, but it is bad for business, jobs and the city’s economy,” David Huck, Peel Ports Group’s chief operating officer, said in a statement Tuesday.

The union is seeking a pay package increase of about 20% and has rejected an offer above inflation, according to the company’s statement. That will “act as a deterrent to investors looking to create jobs in the city region and from other cargo owners entrusting their supply chains to the area,” Peel Ports said.

Unite, the union representing the Liverpool dockers and other UK transport workers, said in a tweet last week that it’s prepared to increase the pressure. The union has said it rejected an offer that amounted to a 7% raise and a one-time bonus of £750 ($810), arguing that it expects an increase at or above the UK inflation rate of about 10%.

Workers in Britain and beyond are demanding hefty raises -- and in some cases staging walkouts -- as soaring prices for everything from food to energy erode living standards. Unite is backing another seaport strike that started this week after Liverpool dockers started their two-week action on Sept. 20.

More than 1,900 dockworkers at the Port of Felixstowe, owned by Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison, began an eight-day work stoppage that ends Oct. 5. Combined the two ports handle about half of the UK’s container volumes.


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