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Felixstowe, the largest container port in the UK to start an eight-day strike.

Felixstowe, the largest container port in the UK to start an eight-day strike.

At Britain’s busiest container port, more than 1,900 workers are scheduled to begin an eight-day strike on Sunday. Their union and shipping companies have warned that this strike could have a negative impact on supply chains and trade. The employees at Felixstowe, on the east coast of England, are striking over pay and are the newest British workers to do so as unions call for higher wages for members facing a problem of the cost of living. 

According to Bobby Morton, national officer for docks for the Unite union, the strike action will cause enormous disruption and will generate significant shockwaves across the UK’s supply chain, but this conflict is completely of the company’s choosing. The corporation had the chance to make its members a fair offer but instead decided not to. 

Felixstowe’s owner Hutchison Ports stated on Friday that it thought its offer of a 7% wage increase and a lump sum payment of 500 pounds ($604) was reasonable. It stated that the arrangement had been approved by the port’s workers union, which comprises 500 employees in supervisory, engineering, and administrative positions. 

The plan, according to Unite, which primarily represents dock workers, is far below the current inflation rate and follows a rise that was below inflation last year. According to a Hutchison Ports representative, “the port regrets the impact this action will have on UK supply chains.” The port stated that it was aiming to minimize inconvenience during the walkouts, which will span until August 29, and that it will have a backup plan in place. 

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One of the largest container shippers in the world, shipping company Maersk, has warned that the action will have a substantial effect, resulting in operational delays and requiring it to revise its vessel lineup. Consumer price inflation in Britain reached 10.1% in July, the highest level since February 1982, according to data released on August 17. Some economists predict that because of rising energy and food prices, it will reach 15% in the first three months of 2019. 

Due to the squeeze on household incomes, workers in the rail and bus industries have previously gone on strike to demand bigger wage increases.

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