The new container weighbridges at the Port of Liverpool (2)

Liverpool dockworkers are to stage a second walkout, from 11-17 October, after negotiations with the Peel Ports-operated terminal failed.

The Unite union announced the next strike with five days left of the current industrial action, saying an offer of an 8.3% pay rise and one-off £750 payment fell well short of the present 12.3% rate of inflation, which is forecast to continue rising.

However, One forwarder seemed unphased by the news and told The Loadstar the strikes at Liverpool and Felixstowe had had “a muted impact” on their business.

“Neither strike is a major issue, to be frank, and at Felixstowe there have been some staff working and the port is partially operational.

“There has been an impact on the hauliers, however, but even there, with the market in a bad place, it can swallow any excess.”

Last year, the port of Liverpool generated more than £30m in profits and many have questioned why, at a time of rising inflation combined with a cost-of-living crisis, more has not been offered to the dockers.

Sources in the industry said the tabled offer was “laughable” and, despite the forwarder’s lack of concern, there remained an acknowledgement the strike could create significant headaches.

Much of Unite’s grievance concerns Peel’s failure to honour promises from the 2021 pay agreement, including the first wage review in 27 years and improving shift rotas. Lead officer for freeports Steven Gerrard said, in the build-up to the first round of strikes: “It has refused to honour previous pay pledges it made to our members and is refusing to put forward an acceptable pay rise now.

“[The port] has no one else to blame for the disruption. It must deliver on agreements made in 2021, as well as tabling an offer our members can accept for 2022,” he added.

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