Union warns Grangemouth port could be hit by dockers' strike
Union bosses are warning the refusal of the UK’s port employers to make fair pay offers to their workers could result in industrial action and cause more disruption to the nation’s supply chain.
According to Unite over a 1000 dock workers are currently preparing to be balloted for strike action because they are angry their employers are seeking to impose pay freezes or proposing pay increases that are so far below the current inflation rate it amounts to a pay cut in real terms.
Industrial action is likely to affect Forth Ports, which operates the Port of Grangemouth, as Unite states the firm is attempting to impose a pay freeze for 2021.
Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “Dockers in the UK play an absolutely essential role in ensuring we all receive the goods we need, including medicines and keeping food on supermarket shelves.
“There is absolutely no way Unite is going to allow our members to suffer real terms pay cuts and we will organise to achieve that.”
Unite states industrial relations are being further damaged because the majority of docks have never been so busy and ports are struggling to cope with demand due to a combination of the HGV driver shortage, Brexit and the effect of the pandemic on shipping.
The union stated strikes could begin before the end of the year.
Forth Ports declined to comment on the issue, but the firm is reportedly meeting union representatives next week to discuss workers’ 2022 settlement.
It is believed Forth Ports paid its front line staff bonuses earlier in the year to acknowledge their work through the pandemic.