Liverpool docks strikes to go ahead

Liverpool dock workers anger over ‘pay cut dressed up as rise’ as billionaire owned port operator MDHC made £30m profits in 2021

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More than 560 port operatives and maintenance engineers will take strike action from 19 September to 3 October over a seven per cent pay offer. With the real rate of inflation, RPI, at 12.3 per cent and rising this is a pay cut.

Workers will also strike over MDHC’s failure to honour the 2021 pay agreement. This includes the company not undertaking a promised pay review, which last happened in 1995, and failing to deliver on an agreement to improve shift rotas.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “MDHC is controlled by a tax-exiled billionaire and can well afford to pay these workers a proper pay rise.

“Workers across the country are sick to death of being told to take a hit on their wages and living standards while employer after employer is guilty of rampant profiteering. MDHC needs to think again, table a reasonable offer and fulfil its previous pay promises.”

MDHC, which made more than £30 million in profits in 2021, is owned by the Peel Group ­– based in the Isle of Man tax haven.

The group’s majority owner is UK tycoon John Whittaker, who is worth more than £1.4bn and is also based in the Isle of Man. The Australian investment fund, Australian Super, is the group’s second largest investor.

The strike action will severely disrupt both shipping and road transport in Liverpool and the surrounding areas.

More strikes are set to be scheduled in the coming weeks if MDHC fails to put forward an acceptable offer to the workers.

Unite lead officer for freeports, Steven Gerrard, said, “MDHC has refused to honour the previous pay pledges it made to our members and is refusing to put forward an acceptable pay rise now. It has no one else to blame for the disruption that will be caused.

“MDHC needs to deliver on the agreements it made in 2021 as well as tabling an offer our members can accept for 2022.”

More than 1,900 Unite members at the port of Felixstowe are also in dispute over pay. Their last round of strike action took place between 21 August and 29 August.

By Ryan Fletcher

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