Union says game-playing move will not deter workers seeking fair pay

Peel Ports’ confirmation of months-old restructuring plans means that strikes at the Liverpool port are now about jobs and pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Friday).

The union was responding to Peel Ports’ statement that they are seeking redundancies, claiming a downturn of traffic at the Liverpool container port over the last year despite profits of £30 million in the same period.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Peel Ports’ plan is to pile up even more profit at the expense of its workers and their families. These months-old plans are nothing new and have ensured that this dispute is now about jobs and pay.  

“This is a cynical attempt to intimidate workers. It will not work. 

“Maybe if they spent more time solving the dispute, as opposed to attacking their own workforce, the employers would be in a better place.”

Peel Ports has paid out around £300 million in dividends over the past five years. The highest paid director received pay and benefits totalling £4.5 million in 2021 – a massive increase from £1.6 million in 2020.

Unite national officer Robert Morton said: “Peel Ports has been giving press briefings about redundancies for months now, so this announcement is not new news.

“But these plans confirm that the company was never going to discuss pay in good faith.  It was always intent on attacking the workforce to bolster profits. Unite stands firm in a dispute that is no longer solely about pay but is now about jobs as well.”


Notes to editors:

The company has offered the workers a pay rise of around 8.3 per cent, but with the real rate of inflation, RPI, at 12.3 per cent this is a pay cut. Moreover, it has failed to honour the 2021 pay agreement. This includes the company not undertaking a promised pay review, which last happened in 1995, and failing to deliver on an agreement to improve shift rotas.

For media enquires ONLY contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.

Email: [email protected] 

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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.