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PUBLISHER: Freight News (www.freightnews.co.za)

Port users are bracing for the United Kingdom’s largest container port to come to a grinding halt in August after members of Unite, the UK’s leading trade union, overwhelmingly backed strike action in a dispute over pay.

Unite said on Thursday that its 1900 members, who are responsible for all aspects of the Felixstowe port’s operations, had recorded a 92% vote for industrial action on an 81% voting turnout. If workers down tools as planned it will be the first strike at the Suffolk hub in 30 years.

The dispute comes after Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company offered workers a pay increase of just 5%, which the union described as amounting to “an effective pay cut” as the inflation rate currently stands at 11.9%. The port workers received a below-inflation pay increase of just 1.4% in 2021.

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