Felixstowe rep suspended for failing to say ‘good morning’

Bully boy sackings and suspensions at Felixstowe risks new wave of protests and strikes

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Hundreds of workers from the port of Felixstowe will hold a protest in defence of seven Unite members and Unite reps who have been victimised by “malicious” bosses. A consultative ballot for industrial action also gets underway on Monday, December 5.

The protest will begin from 8am on December 5 at Gate 1, Port of Felixstowe, IP11 3SY.

Seven workers have been sacked or suspended on trumped up charges, including one union rep who has been preposterously suspended for failing to say ‘good morning’ to a manager. Another worker, who simply made a video diary during the strike, was sacked on spurious grounds.

Over 1,900 Unite members took strike action at the Port of Felixstowe between August and October and are still in dispute. But management bullying and intimidation against a number of well-liked union reps and members has opened up a new but completely avoidable front in this long running dispute.

The demonstrations at Felixstowe come on the same day Unite begins preparations for a new strike ballot at the UK’s largest container port to demand the immediate reinstatement of the seven.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham said, “These outrageous attacks on Unite reps follows months of intrusive behaviour and bully boy tactics by bosses. Management misjudged the workers’ resolve so now they want to break their spirits – it won’t work.

“To suspend a union rep for the supposed crime of ‘failing to say good morning’ is as absurd as it is malicious,” she added. “We’ll see how good a morning management have when they’re confronted with hundreds of dockers demanding justice for their reps.

“This is an attack on us all. Unite will match the resolve and collective strength of the Felixstowe dockers with the full support and resource of our union to win the immediate reinstatement of the seven.”

Messages of solidarity and support can be sent to the Felixstowe 7 at:[email protected]

Britain’s largest container port, Felixstowe is ultimately owned by the multi-national port operator CK Hutchison, which is registered in the Cayman Islands. Forensic analysis of CK Hutchison continues to expose the conglomorate‘s profiteering across Britain, from docks to energy and water to telecommunications.

By Ciaran Naidoo

Pic by Mark Thomas from previous Felixstowe strikes