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Liverpool Dockers Strike as Peel Ports Issues Redundancies

FILE PHOTO: A general view of stacked shipping containers at Peel Ports Liverpool docks in Liverpool, Britain, October 20, 2021. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

Liverpool Dockers Strike as Peel Ports Issues Redundancies

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October 12, 2022

By Eamon Akil Farhat (Bloomberg) —

Dock workers in the Port of Liverpool resumed a strike over pay Tuesday as their employer Peel Ports Ltd. issued redundancy notices to more than 15% of the workforce, citing a slump in demand.

The walkout is slated to continue for a week, according to the Unite union, which said Monday that 132 employees at the container hub in northwest England had received a letter revealing that their post would be eliminated.

The move toward job losses has raised the stakes in the dispute, with Unite labeling it a “cynical attempt” to intimidate members as they begin a second round of action following an initial two-week protest that ended Oct. 3.

Peel Ports said Friday that the redundancies are necessary following a slump in box volumes amid weakening UK demand for manufactured and imported goods, alongside rising interest rates and higher energy costs.

Unite said it’s seeking a 12.3% pay increase for members, though Peel says the union is pressing for 15.7%. An offer worth less than the lower number was declined by the labor group last week, both parties said.

Unite has also declined to meet with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, Britain’s state-backed mediator, following the rejection of its own proposal.

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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