Dockers from the Port of Liverpool have accepted an Inflation-busting pay rise after nearly two months of strike action.
Around 600 port operatives from Mersey Docks and Harbour Company staged the industrial action for nearly two months after first walking out on September 19 in a row over pay and conditions at the port. Further action was due to take place on November 14 – but Unite, the union representing the dockers, confirmed earlier this week that an agreement had been reached and the deal would be put to the union members to vote on.
At a mass meeting held yesterday, Thursday, November 11, port operatives voted overwhelmingly in favour of the deal. Liverpool dockers employed by Peel Ports have won pay hikes between 14 per cent and 18 per cent plus, according to job grades, after a deal was secured by Unite, the dockers’ union.
At a mass meeting held today (Thursday) at the docks, around 600 workers voted overwhelmingly in favour of the deal, which was negotiated earlier this week.
The dock workers will now resume normal work duties, ending a wave of escalating strike action that began on 19 September. 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 £200 million into the pockets of our workers.
Unite national officer Bobby Morton said: “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.”