Freight News, Sea

Angry tugboat crews vow to bring Teesport to a halt

[ February 17, 2022   //   ]

The Unite trade union is warning that Teesport is facing disruption due to a tug boat strike. Crews employed by AP Moller-Maersk subsidiary Svitzer Marine at Teesport, the UK’s fifth largest container port, will begin strike action early next month in a dispute over a pay freeze. The first strike will last 48 hours and begins on Tuesday 1 March. Two further 24 hour strikes on 9 and 26 March.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite has vowed that we will not allow freeports to become low wage zones which is why our members at Svitzer Marine will receive the union’s full and total support until this dispute is resolved.”

The union says that the crews, who have worked throughout the pandemic to ensure shipping freight carrying essential supplies for the UK continued to dock safely, are furious as Svitzer has benefitted from a significant increase in volumes coming into Teesside over the last year.

Unite regional officer Pat McCourt added: “Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has said that “The freeport would bring ‘better wages for local people’. He needs to have a serious word with Svitzer because they are proving that this is not the case.”

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