United Kingdom, eight-day strike by the “red vests” of the port of FelixStowe. Supply chains at risk

The workers of the port of Felixstowein the UK, started on Sunday 21st August one eight-day strikeasking the contract renewal and theincrease in salaries that have been inactive for years. A strike that is only the latest in a chain that has gone through transport and various other sectors for several weeks, and which mainly concerns the wages that the unions are asking to adjust to a record level of inflation – which went over 10% in July – and which is expected to reach 13% in October: the most high among G7 countries. To cross the arms of the port of Felixstowe were crane operators, machinery operators and stevedores, wearing the red vest of the Unite union. With nearly 2,000 workers, Felixstone Port is the UK’s largest container port. Located 150km north east of London, the port operates an average of 4 million containers per year, around 48% of all containers bound for the UK pass through the port of FelixStowe. The last strike in the port dates back to 1989, during the third government of the conservative Margaret Thatcher.

“Felixstowe’s docks are extremely profitable. The most recent figures show that in 2020 they achieved 61 million pounds (about 72 million euros) of profits “, declared the secretary of the Unite union, Sharon Graham. “Its parent company, CK Hutchison Holding Ltd, is so rich that it distributed that same year £ 99 million in dividends to its shareholders. I therefore believe it is capable of giving Felixstowe workers a fair wage increase“Graham added.

The business counterparty said they asked the union for shost the strike and to sit at a negotiating table “To find a solution”. The firm said it offered a raise “right” 8% for the average salaries and 10% for the lowest ones and to fear now for the supplies. According to some analysts, the strike shouldn’t have an impact Too strong on supplies of goods, because the market is used to the perturbations after the Covid pandemic crisis. The first consequences, however, were not long in coming. As reported by Reuters, in fact, in view of possible delays in the deliveriessome retailers have already communicated their willingness to redirect goods through other container ports or to use alternative transport to ensure that the products remain available.

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