Strike forces Grangemouth port to close down operations

The Port of Grangemouth
The Port of Grangemouth

Employees of Forth Ports in Grangemouth striking over changes to conditions tomorrow have forced the firm to temporarily close down quayside operations.

Tuesday’s strike, scheduled to last for two weeks, concerns a row over changing shift patterns for operations staff.

Union Unite said all but two of the 75 operatives voted to go on strike when a ballot was taken. Union officials say the change to shift patterns is like a “de facto pay cut”, but Forth Ports claim the new patterns are required to meet the needs of customers.

Unite stated it remained open to further negotiations with management.

A Forth Ports spokesman said: “We have decided to close the port’s quayside container operations from midnight on Monday, March 14. All other operations at the port will remain open.

“We sincerely hope our staff, and their union, will cancel this strike and work with us to implement the changes necessary to enable us to meet the changing demands of our customers.

“We are proposing alterations to shift patterns in response to the changing needs of our customers, whose vessels call at the port seven days a week.

“Our staff and their union accepted the need for such flexibility, and that shift patterns may require to change in the future, when this element of their employment contracts was agreed in 2011.”