UK faces first major dock strike in 15 years

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The Transport and General Workers Union is today taking the country to the brink of the first major dock strike since the end of the National Dock Labour Scheme 15 years ago. The TGWU is to ask its members working for Associated British Ports, Britain's leading ports business, to vote for strike action after they rejected a 2.9 per cent pay offer.

The Transport and General Workers Union is today taking the country to the brink of the first major dock strike since the end of the National Dock Labour Scheme 15 years ago. The TGWU is to ask its members working for Associated British Ports, Britain's leading ports business, to vote for strike action after they rejected a 2.9 per cent pay offer.

The dispute affects dockers, drivers and other port workers at ABP's 23 ports around Britain, from Ayr to Southampton.

They are claiming a minimum £7.50 an hour for all workers, £10 for drivers and a 5 per cent rise for everyone currently earning more than £7.50. They also want a one-hour reduction in the working week to 38 hours, with no loss of pay, and 23 days' holiday a year, excluding bank holidays.

The TGWU's national organiser for transport, Graham Stevenson, described the 2.9 per cent offer as "wholly inadequate".

He said: "This result sends a very clear message to ABP that our members are serious about fighting back this year to win realistic and meaningful improvements to wages and conditions.

"We are looking to raise not just the standard of living of our members but to bring employment conditions into the 21st century. If it takes a full national strike ballot to make progress, so be it."

Mr Stevenson added that, at Tilbury on the Thames estuary, container throughput was up 38 per cent and ABP Connect turnover was up 23 per cent. ABP Connect offers warehousing, distribution, transportation and logistics services.

Comments