Tomorrow's strike by almost 2,000 dock workers at Felixstowe looks set to go ahead despite 500 port workers in a separate union branch voting to accept Hutchison Ports' wage offer.

A separate group of around 500 staff working for the port in management, engineering or clerical roles voted to accept the port's pay offer.

And port bosses have now asked the Unite union to put its offer to its hourly-paid members who are set to strike, but union officials insist nothing has changed.

Paul Davey, head of corporate affairs for Hutchison Ports which runs the Port of Felixstowe, said: “The Port of Felixstowe staff union, representing approximately 500 positions, has voted to accept the same pay offer that Unite has refused to put to its members.

"We thank staff members for their support and once again urge Unite to suspend the strike planned for August 21 and put the same offer, which, with other benefits, is worth between 8.1% and 9.6% this year, to their hourly-paid members.”

However, Unite national officer Bobby Morton said: “Absolutely no one in Unite wants a strike, however, we have been forced into this position by the intransigence of this extremely wealthy company when it comes to a wage rise for workers who saw the company through the Covid pandemic.

"I am not aware of any director, sitting in his or her cosy office, contracting Covid when many of our members did.

"Unite were happy to attend the meeting with the company and ACAS until it was made clear that the company’s position would not change, so the meeting was worthless.

"Unite are always prepared to enter into meetings with the employer for meaningful informed discussions.”

An eight-day strike at Felixstowe is due to start on Sunday and will affect hourly-paid workers across the port – prompting warnings of disruption to supply chains across the country.

It is the first major strike at the port since 1989.