‘Failing’ Grayling port appointment ‘insult’ to Unite members

Chris Grayling’s £100,000 part time Felixstowe port job ‘slap in the face’ to staff shouldering pay reductions

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The appointment of former transport secretary Chris Grayling – who once awarded a £13.8m cross channel ferry contract to a company with no ferries – to a £100,000 a year part time advisory role for Hutchinson Ports has been branded an ‘insult’ to the firm’s workers. 

Unite said the £275 an hour role is a ‘slap in the face’ for hourly paid Felixstowe port staff who have had their Christmas bonus cancelled and undergone detrimental shift changes to help Hutchison Ports weather the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The parliamentary register of MPs’ interests states that Grayling anticipates that he will spend around seven hours a week working as a ‘strategic adviser’ to Hutchinson Ports. 

The MP for Epsom and Ewell became known as ‘failing Grayling’ during his time in government. 

The Labour Party calculated that he wasted around £2.7bn of taxpayers’ cash, including £2bn lost on the collapse of the Virgin Trains east coast franchise and £437m on the disastrous privatisation of the probation service. 

Unite, which has more than 2,000 members at Felixstowe port, said Hutchinson Ports ‘clearly has money to burn’ if it can afford to spend £100,000 on an advisor once described as the ‘worst transport secretary of all time’. 

Unite regional officer Miles Hubbard said, “Mr Grayling’s appointment by Hutchinson Ports is a slap in the face to its Felixstowe workforce. While still serving as an MP, Mr Grayling will pocket nearly £2,000 a week for just seven hours work. 

“For Felixstowe port’s hourly paid staff, who have lost their annual Christmas bonus and undergone detrimental shift changes to help the company get through the pandemic, Mr Grayling’s cushy number at the port is an insult. 

“Hutchinson Ports clearly has money to burn if it can afford to spend £100,000 on a part time advisor who once gave a multimillion-pound shipping contract to a company with no ships and who was dubbed ‘the worst transport secretary of all time’.”

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