More than 500 dockworkers at the UK’s port of Liverpool have voted in favour of strike action over pay and working conditions, as confirmed by the trade union Unite. In a ballot with an 88 per cent turnout the workers at port’s operator MDHC, part of Peel Ports, the second largest port group in the country, voted 99 per cent for strike action. Although no timeline was specified, any work stoppage will add further pressure on the UK’s supply chain.
The port of Liverpool, owned by Peel Ports, is Britain’s fourth-largest port and a vital stop for transatlantic commerce, handling more than 60 vessels and 75,000 TEU each month. “The strikes, the dates of which have not yet been set, will bring Liverpool container port, one of the largest in the country, grinding to a halt,” the Unite trade union said. News of the possible strike comes as the shipping industry prepares for an eight-day strike at the port of Felixstowe. The strike scheduled to run later this month at the country’s largest container port Felixstowe will see nearly 1900 workers putting their tools down from 21 August.The Felixstowe strike alone could disrupt more than $800 million in trade, according to ALPS Marine analysis by Russell Group.
The union warned that strikes by either group of workers would have severe impact on the UK’s supply chain and logistics, which already has experienced a difficult summer with railway workers walking out on multiple occasions, and major airports and airlines reeling from staff shortages. A shutdown of UK’s ports might occur during the busiest time of the year, when retailers are trying to stock up for back-to-school shopping and year-end holidays. The likely disruption also comes at the time where European ports were just beginning to see a reduction of container backlog and port congestion.
We will update this page as the situation develops.
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