Union leaders have called for fresh "meaningful" talks with the Port of Felixstowe with a second round of strike action underway.

However, it is understood port bosses are concerned about future pay negotiations should strikes continue.

"There is an absolute possibility that further strike action could take place," said a senior source from within Unite the Union.

"No one wants this to happen and no one wants this disruption.

"We want to come back to the table, but the port have ended negotiations."

Earlier this month, port chiefs decided to implement their pay offer of 7% plus £500 despite reaching no agreement with union leaders.

Following the announcement, a company spokesman said: "the collective bargaining process has been exhausted and there is no prospect of an agreement being reached with the union".

Since then, Unite leaders claim the port has severed all communication with members.

"The company said they'll no longer talk to us and that all avenues have been exhausted," said the union member.

"But how can you find a resolution if that's the case?

"We don't want to cause this disruption - particularly in the run-up to Christmas - but if we can't get back around the table, there is no option but industrial action.

"The company has more than enough finances to settle this."

Port bosses are believed to be concerned that further strikes could prevent future negotiations.

There is an anxiety that discussions surrounding 2023's pay rise could prove to be challenging if the existing offer remains undealt with.

However, Unite has vowed to find a way around any future hurdles while its members remain unhappy.

The union member said: "We don't want to play games. Who will that benefit?

"We want to find a solution and we're ready to talk.

"There appears to be a narrative that this is a Unite agenda, but it's not.

"All decisions have been made by our members and the fact that this is happening and it has continued for so long is the company's fault.

"It is now up to them to return to the table and resolve this."