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Portsmouth strike looms

[ July 12, 2012   //   ]

The Unite union is balloting its members at Portsmouth International Port on a possible strike. It says that the Portsmouth City Council-owned operation is attempting to to dismiss workers and rehire them on inferior contracts, creating a two-tier labour force. The ballot for industrial action, which is due to conclude on Monday 16 July, involves the port’s quay assistants, responsible for tying up and releasing cross channel ferries, who are employed by the council. The new contract will demand that quay assistants guarantee to service vessels beyond their contractual finishing time of midnight, says the union. It says that as existing quay assistants left PCC, new staff had been employed on inferior contracts that made it compulsory for them to stay on after contractual hours, until the last vessel had been serviced but without paying them accordingly. It says that negotiations with port management have been going on since May.

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