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Felixstowe 8-day Strike Warning

Felixstowe 8-day Strike Warning


Dockworkers in Felixstowe are planning an eight-day strike that could wreak havoc at Britain's largest container port and, in turn, affect the container shipping system in Europe and around the world.


1.The news just confirmed today is that the union Unite said that from Sunday, August 21st to the end of Monday, August 29th, nearly 1,900 workers plan to stop work at this Li Ka-shing port for more than a week. 92% of workers voted for strike action last week.


2. A prolonged strike is sure to disrupt port traffic, adding to the problems facing the UK and European economies as the whole of Europe faces a further deep recession.


3. Felixstowe, on the Suffolk coast, handles around 2,000 vessels a year of 4 million TEU containers, including some of the largest ever. The port has a total of 2,500 employees. Union Unite said the loss of much of its workforce, including crane drivers, machine operators and stevedores (who unload ships) would have a "huge impact" on the UK's supply chain.


4. British Rail workers and train drivers have also gone on strike, with further action planned over the next two weeks. Union Unite said it had rejected an offer by employer Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company for a 7 per cent pay rise. The union said it was below retail price index (RPI) inflation of 11.8 percent, its preferred measure, and that workers received a pay rise of 1.4 percent below inflation last year. Company figures show the average annual salary for workers involved is £43,000.


5. Felixstowe is ultimately owned by Li Ka-shing CK Hutchison Holdings, a Hong Kong-based conglomerate that controls 52 ports around the world and handles the equivalent of 88 million 20-foot containers a year. Superdrug and The Perfume Shop, three major UK mobile networks and water and energy companies.


6. Since the beginning of this year, the energy crisis in Europe has been well known. Especially with the shortage of energy, the rise in electricity prices in Europe is even more surprising. In many countries in Europe, electricity prices have set historical records, and the power grid is facing the risk of collapse. The same is true for the UK electricity price, and Li Ka-shing, who controls 1/4 of the UK's electricity, has obviously become the biggest beneficiary. The price of electricity in the UK has now skyrocketed to £9,724 per megawatt hour. If you want to convert it into RMB, then it is 79 yuan per kilowatt-hour. If you compare the electricity bill in the UK with China, the price of electricity in the UK is more than 100 times that of China.


7. Hutchison Ports said "Felixstowe has not had a strike since 1989, and we are disappointed that the union issued a strike notice during negotiations. The port provides safe and well-paying jobs, and there will be no winners from strike action."


8. Unions say employers are prioritizing multi-million pound shareholder dividends rather than paying decent wages. The company's pre-tax profit rose to £78m in 2021, up more than 25% from £61m the year before. A company spokesman said: “We understand staff concerns about the rising cost of living and are determined to do what we can to help while continuing to invest in the port’s success. Discussions are ongoing and the company’s latest position in negotiations is to increase pay by 7 %.


Shenzhen Xunlaitong specializes in shipping export from Shenzhen to Australia & New Zealand, Germany, Netherlands and more business