Global transport unions will be joining 560 Liverpool striking dockers on the picket line at the Port of Liverpool, as port operator Mersey Docks and Harbour Company Limited (MDHC) fails to honour promises on pay despite its profiteering.
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) fully support the struggle of the Unite the Union dockers and other port workers in Liverpool taking industrial action for a decent pay deal.
“In the face of soaring inflation in the United Kingdom, with some economists predicting that the rate of inflation will rise to 20 percent by January, the Liverpool dockers’ pay demands are measured and reasonable,” said Paddy Crumlin, ITF President and Dockers’ Section Chair.
“As the cost of essentials like food, energy and petrol continue to rise to astronomical levels, we are seeing employer after employer gouge profits at the expense of workers’ livelihoods and living standards. Working people have had enough – and that why 560 Liverpool dockers have walked out the gate on strike,” said Crumlin.
MDHC, which made more than £30 million in profits in 2021, is owned by Peel Ports Group, the UK’s second largest port group. The company’s latest offer of 7 percent, plus a one-off payment of £750, was rejected by the workers. With the real rate of inflation (RPI) currently at 12.3 percent the offer represents a real-terms pay cut.
“Senior management should be offering a deal that reflects the dangerous and vital work dockers do, an offer that doesn’t financially hammer them during a cost of living crisis,” said Crumlin. “Fair pay for a fair day’s work is all that’s being asked, and MDHC can afford to show they appreciate their workforce at the pay packet.”
Crumlin said that international dockers unions will be standing shoulder to shoulder with workers until the dispute reaches a settlement, with leaders joining the picket line in Liverpool from tomorrow.
In addition to current wage dispute, the port operations staff are also striking over MDHC’s failure to honour its promise last year to undertake a pay review, which last happened in 1995, and agreement to improved shift rotas.
“No one wants a strike, but it’s been forced on workers unnecessarily,” said Marc Loridan, ETF Dockers’ Section Chair. “With over 99 percent of dockers voting for strike action, the workforce is united, and the global dockers community is equally united behind them.
“Should the European dockers unions receive any additional request of solidarity according to the known routes, full support and mobilisation will be ensured for the success of the strike,” said Loridan.