UK port strike adds to supply-chain woes

Published on
August 23, 2022
The Felixstowe port

A major labor strike at the Port of Felixstowe in Felixstowe, United Kingdom is expected to further disrupt the U.K. supply chain.

Approximately 2,000 dockworkers at the port began an eight-day walkout on 21 August, according to Bloomberg.

The Port of Felixstowe is the largest gateway for containerized imports and exports, accounting for around a third of Britain’s total container volume, Bloomberg said.

The strike could disrupt more than USD 800 million (EUR 805 million) in trade, according to Russell Group, a data and analytics company.

The port strike comes on the heels of rail worker strikes that have occurred throughout the summer, per MarketWatch. Thousands of rail workers are striking, seeking better pay and job security amid soaring food and energy price hikes, MarketWatch said.

Unite the Union said in a press release that the Port of Felixstowe strikes are due to the Port and its Hong Kong-based parent company prioritizing profits and dividends, instead of paying its employees what they are worth.

Since 2017, the company paid out GBP 198 million (USD 233 million, EUR 234 million) in dividends – most of which have gone to parent companies, Unite said.

The company is “siphoning off tens of millions of pounds offshore to its Hong Kong-based parent company, almost every year. So Hong Kong shareholders are getting a bonanza pay-out while the company weeps ‘crocodile tears’, claiming that they can’t pay a decent pay rise here and essentially asking workers to accept a pay cut,” Unite leader Sharon Graham said.

Contributing Editor



Want seafood news sent to your inbox?

You may unsubscribe from our mailing list at any time. Diversified Communications | 121 Free Street, Portland, ME 04101 | +1 207-842-5500