8-day strike at Britain’s biggest port

Over 1,900 workers are on strike demanding higher wages at Felixstowe


With over 1,900 workers at Felixstowe, Britain’s largest container port, going on an eight-day strike, massive disruptions are expected in the country’s supply chain.

Hutchison Ports, Felixstowe’s operator, had offered a seven per cent pay rise along with a lump sum amount of £500. The deal had been accepted by the workers’ union of the port too, which has about 500 engineering, supervisory and clerical staff as its members.

However, Unite — probably one of the largest trade unions in Britain, with over a million members across sectors, including transport, construction, manufacturing, and logistics — which has dock workers amongst its members, found the offer inadequate considering the rising inflation.

The settlement of Flexistowe handles about one-third of Britain’s entire container volume. The share of direct trade with Asia that it handles is even bigger. Therefore, this strike will have a significant impact on British supply chains with shipping companies being forced to alter their vessel line-ups. It is reported that about $800 million worth of trade may be affected. Huge backlogs will be created in terms of cargo, which will take a lot of time to be cleared.

Apparel imports from India will also be significantly affected among other things.

Britain is undergoing a cost-of-living crisis, caused by rapid rise in prices of essential goods, including groceries, which is going up faster thatn the increase in incomes of households. As a result, real income has fallen drastically.

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