Port of Liverpool Photo 156922779 © Alan5766 Dreamstime.com
© Alan5766 Dreamstime.com.

Port of Liverpool operator Peel Ports has confirmed workers will stage a third two-week strike at the end of the month.

Port director at the container terminals Richard Mitchell said Unite, representing the dockers, had “confirmed” industrial action would take place from 24 October to 7 November just three days into the current strike.

The union has, so far, not confirmed the new dates to The Loadstar.

Mr Mitchell said: “During the past six months Unite has made little attempt to negotiate and refused to bring in Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service to support mediation.

“Unite has declined to engage in an accepted form of dispute resolution. We’re therefore concerned that Unite has no interest in resolving matters through the collective bargaining arrangements we’ve in place.”

However, there appears some uncertainty over the whether a third strike is planned. A Unite spokesperson did not confirm the action and requested a copy of the operational update in which Peel gave the dates.

This latest development follows a chaotic week of efforts to end industrial action at the north-west container terminal, which included news that Peel would begin a redundancy consultation on the day workers walked out for the second wave of industrial action.

Condemning Peel’s timing, the union and sources working with the port told The Loadstar this was “intimidation” and “revenge”.

However, Peel said the planned restructuring of the port had been known for some time, and a spokesperson told The Loadstar it was “exploring different options to protect as many jobs as possible”.

While the dockers have been largely supported, there have been some within the industry who have sought to point to the present market volatilities and that, while the management offers were not a fair reflection of the work done, “workers are in a precarious position”.

One source added: “My advice is look after the jobs you’ve got, protect your income. As a small employer, I’m not employing; I am reducing operations and waiting for things to improve. I think Peel knows there is a looming lack of jobs.”

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