Fourth round of strikes at Port of Liverpool called off as bosses near deal with workers

Thu 10 Nov 2022
Posted by: Phillip Adnett
Trade News

Port of Liverpool - Strikes called off

A fourth strike at the Port of Liverpool is off as bosses and the union Unite appear to have reached a deal.

The deal will be put to 600 workers this week, just days before a fourth round of action was due to begin on 14 November.

Peel Ports, which operates the Liverpool’s container terminals, alongside Terminal Investments Ltd, said it reached an agreed proposal with the union that will be “fully recommended to its members”, the BBC reports.

Pay dispute

Hundreds of dockers have staged industrial action over the past two months in a row over pay and conditions at the port.

More than 500 port operatives voted in favour of a strike in August in response to a 7% pay rise offer as well as what they described as a failure to honour both a 2021 pay agreement and to deliver on an agreement to improve shift rotas, reports the Liverpool Echo.

European woes

Other north European ports are facing problems of their own with Antwerp dockers due to strike and a shortage of drivers leading to three-month backlogs of cars at Germany’s Bremerhaven.

Port Technology reports a 24-hour strike by workers at Antwerp today involving pilots, tug workers, and other port personnel.

Bremerhaven, which is Europe’s fourth largest container port and one of the largest automobile hubs in the world, is experiencing gridlock with “massive” delays due to a lack of drivers, according to CNBC.

Andreas Braun, regional director of ocean product, EMEA, for Crane Worldwide Logistics said: “There is a three-month delay for BMW, where cars sit in yards waiting to be fitted with extras, especially with the iDrive touch controller.”

Mail and rail strikes

Back in the UK, Royal Mail staff are set to strike on crucial days around Black Friday, while the UK train network faces disruption despite some recently suspended strikes.

Mail workers will stage two 48-hour strikes around Black Friday and Cyber Monday in an escalating row over pay, jobs and conditions, reports the Independent.

Royal Mail has said that disruptions are likely and staff will not be delivering letters, with the exception of those sent Special Delivery, which it cannot guarantee will arrive. It will also prioritise the delivery of Covid testing kits and medical prescriptions.

The BBC reports that train services have been disrupted even though planned strikes have been called off this week. Of the 14 train companies that were due to be affected by the walkouts, only C2C and Greater Anglia will run a normal service.

The RMT union said on Friday it had called off the strikes after “the promise of an offer” on pay from the rail operating companies, and said it would enter “intensive negotiations” with the firms and Network Rail.