Unite wins of the year - Liverpool docks

On the eleventh day of Christmas, UniteLive looks back at massive victory for Liverpool dockers, who took weeks of strike action - and won

Reading time: 4 min

2022 has been the year of Unite wins – under general secretary Sharon Graham, Unite has had more victories in the workplace than it can count. As part of our special 12 days of Christmas series, UniteLive looks back at a handful of the many wins we’ve had in every month throughout the year.

Today, we reflect on a key win in November, when Liverpool dockers employed by Peel Ports secured a huge pay rise of between 14 and 18 percent.

After having taken weeks of strike action, a mass meeting was held in November at the docks, where around 600 workers voted overwhelmingly in favour of the deal.

The deal ended a wave of escalating strike action that began on September 19. The win involved the resolute strike action of Unite members but also the leverage of ‘strikes plus’.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “This is a highly significant victory for the Unite members on Liverpool docks. The determined resolve of our members on the picket line and Unite’s strikes-plus strategy has forced the company to see sense and do the right thing. Make no mistake – Unite will continue to fight for jobs, pay and conditions and defend workers relentlessly.”

Since Sharon Graham was elected as general secretary, Unite has employed forensic accountants and economists to pour over complex and opaque company finances to hold firms to account. Leverage strategies implemented to identify and target hidden company decision makers have also become integral to fighting disputes.

During the last year, this has resulted in over 81 per cent of the more than 450 disputes being won, putting an extra £200m into the pockets of our workers.

Unite national officer Bobby Morton added, “The hard work and solidarity of our members and reps at Peel Ports, combined with the union’s strategic tactics, has paid off. This victory is another reminder of why those who want to improve their pay and working lives should join Unite and become part of the fight for a better deal.”

Speaking to UniteLive in December, Unite senior shop steward John Lynch hailed the victory at Liverpool docks.

“This pay win has been key in keeping us over the line with the high cost of living at the minute,” he said. “The support that we got in particular from Unite’s strike fund, as well as the moral support we received from our general secretary Sharon Graham, the general public and other unions kept our morale high during the five weeks we were out on strike.

“We were well organised and we didn’t give up,” he added. “If we weren’t members of Unite, we would not have secured this win.”

Stay tuned for our final Unite win of the year tomorrow.

By UniteLive team