100 port workers face redundancy

UPTO 100 workers are facing redundancy at Felixstowe Port as a result of money savings measures brought on by the recession, say bosses.

Tom Potter

MORE jobs are to go at Britain's biggest port as a result of the recession, it was announced today.

The Evening Star reported last month that 20 managers at Felixstowe - including some who had been at the terminal many years - would be made redundant as part of a shake-up to try to cut costs.

Now the port owners Hutchison Whampoa are looking at the general workforce, too, with around 70 jobs to be cut on the quaysides and in other operational areas.

Last year there was concern among workers after changes were brought in to improve efficiency - including workers being asked to become more flexible, able to be moved around the port each shift to tackle a variety of jobs.

Now officials say they have been in talks with transport and general workers union Unite about further ways of cutting costs at the port, which has a direct workforce of around 2,800.

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Corporate affairs manager Paul Davey said further redundancies are now expected in non-managerial roles.

“The port is looking to make savings through controlled measures which will include some voluntary redundancies in non-management jobs,” he said.

“Discussions are still ongoing and more details will become available in the coming days.

“This is a response to the economical situation currently affecting most sectors.

“We don't know when the cuts will be made but our human resources team have done a lot of work to ensure everyone gets the support they need.”

The management restructuring also aims to reduce costs and “avoid duplication” in roles.

A 13-week consultation period is currently taking place and the changes will take place over the next few months.

The jobs news follows shipping giant Maersk announcing a reduction in North Sea services on its ferry subsidiary, Norfolkline.

From May, the service between Holland and Felixstowe will be reduced from four ferries to three vessels.