Freight News, Sea

Felixstowe engineers to strike 27-28 December

[ December 18, 2019   //   ]

Engineers at Felixstowe docks will take strike action on 27 and 28 December in a dispute over a possible transfer to an outside company, says the Unite trade union.

Some 116 engineers, employed by the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company, voted 98% in favour of strike action and unanimously for industrial action short of a strike over plans to transfer  a number of them to Universal Tyres.

Unite has about 1,900 members at the UK’s busiest container port, including the  engineers – however, at the current time, it is only the tyre fitting operation that faces being transferred, but Unite says it could be “the thin end of the wedge”.

Unite regional officer Milles Hubbard said: “The crux of this dispute is that our engineering members consider that the identity of their employer is a condition of their employment contract and they do not want that being changed unilaterally.”

While there was still time for management to rethink the matter: “If the employer’s outsourcing agenda continues to gather momentum, we will have no hesitation in balloting the rest of our 1,800 members at the port for industrial action, which will have grave implications for Felixstowe’s operations in a competitive environment.”