Unite press release

For immediate release: Sunday 21 August

Unite calls out crocodile tearsof Felixstowe employers claiming they cant afford to pay workers wage rise.

Unite leader Sharon Graham says company prioritising profits and dividends instead of pay.

Dividends pay-out in three years touching £200m.

Unite investigations of the Felixstowe Docks company, its subsidiaries and ultimately its parent company, based in Hong Kong, show the company is crying ‘crocodile tears’ when it claims it can’t afford to pay its dockers.

Since 2017 the company has paid out £198 million in dividends most of which have gone to parent companies, with the ultimate holding company being CK Hutchinson Holdings Ltd, which is registered in Hong Kong.

For example, Felixstowe’s accounts for 2020 (at the height of the pandemic) show the company made pre-tax profits of £61 million while also paying a dividend of £99 million. 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: Felixstowe Docks and its associated companies have been prioritising profits and dividends instead of giving their workers a decent share of the pie .

Instead 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 tearsclaiming that they cant pay a decent pay rise here and essentially asking workers to accept a pay cut .'

“The workers at Felixstowe have UNITE's  full backing until this dispute is resolved.”

Over 1,900 members of Unite, employed in manual roles at the docks including crane drivers, tug boat operatives and stevedores began eight days of strike action this morning (Sunday 21 August) in a dispute over pay.

Diary Note:

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham, will be on the picket line at Felixstowe on Wednesday 24 August and will be available for media interviews from 08:00am


Notes to editors

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.