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Port of Felixstowe strikes to end as workers accept pay deal

Further strikes at the Port of Felixstowe look set to end as union members agreed a fresh pay deal on Monday.

90% of workers at the port have voted to accept an offer of 8.5% plus £1,000 from January 1 2023.

This comes after two rounds of strikes took place earlier this year.

Members of the Unite voted to walk out in August and September after no agreement could be reached during pay negotiations.

The port eventually decided to implement the offered deal of 7% plus £500 without agreement from the union, saying all avenues had been "exhausted".

Port chiefs say the new agreement will provide "certainty and stability" during a turbulent time.

Robert Ashton, chief operating officer at the Port of Felixstowe, said: “We are pleased to have reached an agreement on the 2023 pay deal.

"This is the earliest we have concluded an annual pay review and it provides welcome certainty and stability at a time when our employees, like everyone else, are facing an increase in the cost of living.”

A leading member of Unite the Union said: "The deal means that, as it stands, no further industrial action is due to take place at the Port.

"The agreement equates to 15 and a half percent over two years.

"In that respect, our members regarded it a positive thing."

The first round of strikes in August were the first at the Port since 1989.

Members of Unite voted in favour of walkouts by a majority of 92%, with the union saying it wanted a 10% pay increase.

Both rounds of industrial action lasted eight days.

The fresh agreement will come as a relief for both port chiefs and businesses affected by the strikes.

In September, Adam Searle, managing director of haulage firm CP Transport, told this newspaper that action had cost him £70,000 in just eight days.

He also warned further strikes could be even more damaging for businesses across the country.

The pay deal brings a close to a turbulent few months at the port as other high-profile walkouts in other sectors continue across the UK.


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