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Now back to strikes: Hundreds of dockers in Liverpool will run away hours after Queen’s funeral

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Hundreds of dock workers will launch a two-week strike tonight as a temporary ceasefire comes to an end following the Queen’s death.

Unite at the Port of Liverpool members will leave after rejecting a below-inflation wage offer.

The Peel Ports Group, which operates the port, said workers had turned down the 8.3 percent pay rise, plus a one-off payment of £750.

Unite said it was a real wage cut due to rising inflation and argued that the port’s owners could afford a higher raise.

The strike appears to be a resumption of labor union action over wages as the cost of living rises. Strikes, including actions on the railways and Royal Mail, were postponed after Elizabeth II’s death.

But unions will take action now that her funeral has taken place. Figures from last week showed that consumer price index inflation fell to 9.9 percent in August, from 10.1 percent in July.

The surprise drop is a small but welcome boost to the economy for the new government of Liz Truss, although the current rate is still close to a 40-year high.

The ONS said the main cause of the decline was a drop in the price of petrol and diesel. But it also warned that rising food prices were keeping the rate high.

Unite at the Port of Liverpool members will leave after rejecting a below-inflation wage offer.

The Peel Ports Group, which operates the port, said workers had turned down the 8.3 per cent pay increase, supplemented by a one-off payment of £750. Pictured: River tugs carry out the Fleur De Lis on the River Mersey for a maritime tribute to Queen Elizabeth II,

The Peel Ports Group, which operates the port, said workers had turned down the 8.3 per cent pay increase, supplemented by a one-off payment of £750. Pictured: River tugs carry out the Fleur De Lis on the River Mersey for a maritime tribute to Queen Elizabeth II,

David Huck, the port’s chief operating officer, said: ‘I am deeply disappointed that Unite has rejected our significant salary package after many months of negotiations.

“This is bad news for our employees, families and other local employers.

“We fully recognize our colleagues’ concerns about the cost of living, which is why we have responded with a wage package representing an average increase of 10 percent in annual wages.

‘The Port of Liverpool is a major employer in the Liverpool metropolitan region.

“We have invested more than £1.2bn over the past decade, transforming the region’s prosperity, creating over 900 new skilled jobs and in turn supporting more than 7,200 additional local jobs in the supply chain.

“We urge the union to work with us at the negotiating table so that we can find a solution together.”

Sharon Graham, Unite’s general secretary, said: ‘Workers across the country are sick and tired of hearing their wages and standard of living cut down, while employer after employer engages in rampant profiteering.’

She said the owners of the port should make a “reasonable offer and honor their previous wage promises.”

The company said it has also committed to a shift pattern change, which will result in a 25 percent reduction in night shift work.

The average salary for container workers would rise to around £43,000 a year, significantly above the Liverpool City Region and the national average, it added.

The Port of Liverpool operates two container terminals, the Royal Seaforth Container Terminal (RSCT) and Liverpool2.

RSCT has connections to a large number of countries, including Canada, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Cyprus and Turkey, as well as feeder services connecting Liverpool to India, Africa, South America and the Far East.

Liverpool 2 is one of the most operationally efficient and modern terminals in Northern Europe and can accommodate some of the world’s largest container ships.

The Port of Liverpool container division employs a total of 845 people, handling approximately 525,000 containers in 2021.

The goods in the containers were distributed all over the world and included imports and exports such as retail and industrial products.

– Unite members at Felixstowe docks will go on an eight-day strike in a separate wage dispute from September 27, while train drivers from 12 railway companies will go on strike on October 1 and 5, affecting travel to and from the Conservative party conference in Birmingham.

– Long-running disputes in the railway sector remain unresolved after months of industrial action.

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