Mass meetings over port pay cut

MASS meetings will be held next week to allow shift-workers on the quaysides at Britain's biggest container terminal to have their say on a proposed pay cut to keep the port afloat.

MASS meetings will be held next week to allow shift-workers on the quaysides at Britain's biggest container terminal to have their say on a proposed pay cut to keep the port afloat.

Letters have been sent to all 2,500 employees' homes at Felixstowe port, and now workers will get the chance to discuss the situation with their union leaders.

Changes to contracts for all staff will mean a temporary pay cut of between six and 11 per cent for this year, depending what package people are on.

The changes include the scrapping of all bonus schemes for this year, three days compulsory unpaid leave for everyone, axing of the “hot seat” changeover payments, removal of canteen subsidies, and closure of the port on Boxing Day.

Four meetings be held in 88 Shed - two on April 14, and one each on April 16 and April 18 - to ensure all staff can attend to hear a company statement and a union presentation.

There will be separate briefings for Tomline House staff.

Most Read

Senior management has liaised closely with the union Unite - previously the Transport and General Workers' Union and Amicus - over the problems facing the port.

Chief operating officer David Gledhill hoped workers would understand the need for the changes and savings to be made but could not guarantee whether they will accept them.

The recession has caused a downturn in business for the port which has been equivalent to losing a major customer.

It is though determined to avoid redundancies and not lose trained, skilled workers.

“We recognise the impact these measures will have on everyone who works for the port and for all of our families and we do not make the proposals lightly,” said Mr Gledhill.

“Nevertheless, we firmly believe that they are better than any of our other options.

“The approach we have taken is consistent with the union's core philosophy to maximise employment and we all understand that we need to be in a strong position to protect Felixstowe's future when volumes return.”

Are you prepared to take a pay cut to keep your job? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter