Hundreds of Unite members working at the UK’s Dover Harbour Board, began a 48 hour strike starting 7.00am, Tuesday, 18th November. They are demanding that their jobs not be outsourced.
Unite members voted overwhelmingly in favour (83.8%) of strike action. Unite does not take strike action lightly and is still prepared to negotiate over the best way of protecting its members' jobs.
Unite, the UK's largest trade union, is angry that the port's Chief Executive has stated they are not prepared to negotiate on their plans to outsource work, but only inform the union of their proposals.
Jane Jeffery, Unite Regional Industrial Organiser, said:
"Our members have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action to protect their employment with the Port of Dover. They are determined to protect their terms and conditions of employment, and most importantly pensions, which will undoubtedly be threatened by these outsourcing plans.
"The workers are angry that the company has done nothing to help resolve the situation and now feel they have no choice but to take strike action to defend their livelihoods.
"We believe the people the port have drafted in do not have the experience necessary to cover our member's jobs at one of the busiest ports in the UK."
Unite National Secretary for Docks and Waterways, Brendan Gold, said:
"Dover Port management have forgotten the huge contribution our members make to run the port efficiently. To outsource port security at a time when security is of vital importance is negligent in the extreme.
"Dover is a trust port which has a responsibility to its workforce and the local community. Clearly the port management have ignored this important fact in their relentless drive for profit."
Several hundred workers at the Port of Dover took part in a rally and marched from the town centre to the company's headquarters on Saturday (15th November) ahead of the industrial action against proposals to outsource their jobs.
(Source: Unite the Union)