Suffolk

Felixstowe: Strike dates set for UK's busiest container port

Port of Felixstowe Image copyright Reuters
Image caption More than 110 engineers at the Port of Felixstowe are preparing to strike

Workers at the UK's busiest container port will take strike action for two days after Christmas in a dispute over outsourcing.

The union Unite claims the Port of Felixstowe is transferring engineering jobs to cut costs, and fears it is "the thin end of the wedge".

More than 110 engineers will hold stoppages from 07:00 to 19:00 GMT on 27 and 28 December.

The Port of Felixstowe has been approached for comment.

The engineers, employed by port operator Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company, voted 98% to take industrial action over a plan to transfer members of the tyre-fitting operation to another firm.

'Catastrophic'

Unite claims to have 1,900 members among an approximate 3,000 workers at the Chinese-owned port in Suffolk, though only the engineers will take the strike action.

The union said the threat was only to the tyre-fitting operation at present, but it feared it could be "the start of an unwelcome trend".

Image copyright Mike Page
Image caption The port is at the mouth of the River Orwell in Suffolk

Felixstowe is the UK's busiest container port and in 2018 it handled 37% of the country's cargo arriving by container.

It also loads 40 rail services a week and has a terminal which loads and unloads two daily ferries for lorries.

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