ETF fully supports Unite’s industrial action at the port of Felixstowe

17 Aug 2022

All ETF Dockers’ unions express their full and committed support to the industrial action announced by ETF member Unite the Union at the port of Felixstowe, UK.

The strike has been called from 21 through 28 August after talks over pay broke down with the port owner, HPH Felixstowe.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Unite had agreed to marginal increments in pay linked with the retail price index (RPI) for the 1900 manual workers. As the cost of living has dramatically increased, the union, in consultation with the port workers of Felixstowe, submitted a claim for a 10% increase. Following several rounds of negotiations and a mediation process this request was rejected by the port owners.

During and following the acute phase of the pandemic, HPH Felixstowe made record profits, paying out circa £140 million in dividends to its shareholders, while the port workers at UK’s busiest port are left with compensations of falling value in the face of rising inflation despite the increase in port traffic.

Marc Loridan, chair of the ETF Dockers’ Section, reacted to the strike announcement as follows:

“A strike is not something that unions call for lightly, it is always the last resort.

Dockers all over Europe have worked hard to keep our countries supplied throughout the pandemic and are contributing to fix the supply chain crisis that others have created.

With the cost of living going sky-high, the claim of the dockers in Felixstowe is absolutely legitimate. We see the same happening all over Europe, for instance in the German ports as well as in other transport sectors.

ETF Dockers’ unions, in the North Range and beyond, are ready to take any lawful action that may be necessary to support the workers in Felixstowe.”