Bosses at the Port of Felixstowe have warned workers to "think about your future" as a second round of strikes look set to begin later this month.

In a letter seen by this newspaper, staff were told that it is their "personal choice to stay at home and support the strike or return to work on strike days".

However, they were also urged to "think carefully about what you personally hope to achieve by going on strike" and to think about "your future, the future of the port and the local community when making your decision."

Reacting to the letter, one worker said their position at the port felt "very threatened" and said: "We do not want to have to strike. We are thinking of our local economy.

"If we do not have a living wage, we cannot afford anything from our local economy. No shopping, no meals out – nothing."

Workers served two weeks' notice for further industrial action on Monday as a pay dispute between Unite members and port bosses continues.

Following eight days of strikes that began on August 21 – the first since 1989 – bosses at the Port of Felixstowe implemented their pay offer of 7% plus £500 last week without any agreement from union leaders.

It is understood Unite put the offer to their members and 82% of members voted to refuse it.

The union has argued the deal is a “sizeable pay cut” because of the soaring inflation rate,

The letter, which was signed by chief executive Clemence Cheng, also said the company was "very disappointed that Unite has announced a further eight-day strike at our Port" and reiterated that the pay increase will continue to be implemented as planned.

The second round of action will cross over with Unite action at the Port of Liverpool, causing concerns that a number of cargo ships could potentially be redirected to other ports or back to Europe.