Dockworkers in Liverpool to Vote on Strike Over Pay

Liverpool docks at night
Updated Published

In a disagreement over wages and working conditions, hundreds of dockworkers in Liverpool will cast their votes to decide whether to strike.

More than 500 Unite members who work at MDHC Container Services, a division of Peel Ports, will be put to a vote between July 25 and August 15. At the end of August, stoppages can start if the workforce supports the industrial action.

According to the union, MDHC's failure to offer a reasonable wage raise is the cause of the disagreement, and the final offer of 7% is much less than the current real inflation rate of 11.7 percent. The union also emphasized that there are problems with shift rotas, the bonus payment that was agreed upon in the 2021 pay deal, and agency rates of pay, which have not been changed since 2018.

“Strike action will inevitably severely affect shipping and road transport as well as create shortages in supply chains but this dispute is entirely of Peel Ports’ own making,” said Unite regional officer Steven Gerrard. “Unite has held extensive negotiations with the company but it has refused to address members’ concerns.”

"Even at this late stage strike action can still be avoided by the company returning to negotiations and making an offer that meets our members' expectations on pay and the other areas of concern,” added Gerrard.

"At Peel Ports Group, we pride ourselves in offering industry-leading rates of pay and conditions, so this threat of industrial action is extremely disappointing,” said port director Liverpool containers at Peel Ports Group Richard Mitchell.

"We have made a significant offer of a 7% uplift to basic pay as well as an increase in night work allowance to £30 per week. This is on top of the commitments we made as part of the 2021 pay review, meaning we have increased pay between 16% and 25% over the last three years, subject to different roles within the Port.

Inflation over the same period is 11%, as measured by CPIH. We have also significantly enhanced shift patterns, company sick pay, pension contributions and other benefits since Port Operatives were TUPE-ed from their former agency employers in 2018,” added Mitchell.