Port strike action threat

By Jonathan BarnesRAIL workers at the Port of Felixstowe have voted to strike in a dispute over pay and conditions.Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) employed by Freightliner in Southampton and Felixstowe voted yesterday four to one in favour of industrial action.

By Jonathan Barnes

RAIL workers at the Port of Felixstowe have voted to strike in a dispute over pay and conditions.

Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) employed by Freightliner in Southampton and Felixstowe voted yesterday four to one in favour of industrial action.

The RMT said there are about 20 union members who worked for the company in Felixstowe and predicted a strike would cause "severe" disruption to the 36 services that Freightliner runs out of the port.


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The union, which balloted 58 workers between the two dock sites, has set a deadline of Wednesday for reaching a deal before strikes are called.

Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT, said: "Freightliner chiefs made £30million between them out of selling off the company, but when it comes to our members' pay and conditions we're told to be grateful for what we're given.

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"The company should get round the table to negotiate a settlement that reflects the contribution the workforce have made to Freightliner's success.

"Our members have voted by four to one for strike action and the clock is now ticking away. We have told the company that failure to negotiate seriously with us by next Wednesday will result in strike action."

A spokeswoman for Freightliner said: "We are in discussions with the RMT regarding some of our staff based at Felixstowe and Southampton. We are proposing further meetings in the next week. This is an ongoing process."

jonathan.barnes@eadt.co.uk

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