Latest set of border strikes to disrupt goods movements this weekend

Wed 15 Feb 2023
Posted by: Phillip Adnett
Trade News

UK port of dover

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union has announced fresh industrial action that will impact ports in South East England later this week.

PCS Border Force staff based in Dover, Calais, Dunkirk and Coquelles will be striking between Friday 17 and Monday 20 February (until 7am). 

An email sent by HMRC’s Joint Customs Consultative Committee (JCCC) warns of disruption to goods travelling to the UK through UK border controls in the French ports of Calais and Dunkirk, as well as the Coquelles Eurotunnel Terminal. 

Businesses planning to move goods during this period have been advised to be aware there could be disruption and delays at the south east ports and Inland Border Facilities (IBFs), and that they should take this into consideration when planning movements.

Traders can also check IBF site availability online, here.

More rail action

Meanwhile, further rail strikes could be looming after the RMT union rejected train operators’ “best and final” 9% pay offer, reports the Telegraph.

The RMT’s national executive committee meets today (15 February) to consider new dates, with branch leaders calling for “strikes on every Saturday for the duration of the dispute apart from May [and] a continuous three-day strike starting on the first Monday of May”.

That would put the dates of the next rail strikes 18, 25 February, 4, 11, 18, 25 March and 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 April.

Amazon walk out

Workers at Amazon’s Coventry warehouse, who staged the first ever UK strike for the ecommerce giant, will walk out for a seven further days in an escalation of a dispute over pay.

Union GMB said more than 350 staff at the warehouse will take further industrial action on 28 February as well as 2 and 13-17 March, reports Reuters.

Staff are demanding a wage rise to £15 an hour to help cope with inflation and the cost-of-living crisis.

Amazon increased starting pay by 50p to a minimum of between £10.50 and £11.45 per hour last year, compared with a government-mandated National Living Wage which will rise to £10.42 from April.

Royal mail

A two-day strike by postal workers planned for 16 and 17 February has been called off following a legal challenge by Royal Mail.

The Communication Workers Union  mandate to strike runs out this month and no new dates will be announced while a vote is put to members on whether to continue with the industrial action for a further six months.

Strike days

According to ONS figures reported by the Guardian, more working days were lost to strike action last year than at any time since 1989.

The ONS said 843,000 working days were lost in December, the highest monthly figure for more than a decade, with widespread strikes involving the NHS, rail and Royal Mail workers, and civil servants working for Border Force and as driving instructors.