Unite, the UK’s leading union, has described the issuing of a formal HR1 redundancy notice to 132 workers by Peel Ports, as “desperate”, adding that the move has confirmed that this dispute is now about jobs and pay.

No sense

Unite says that the threatened redundancies make no business sense and have been proposed and dropped previously. The port had already revealed that it is looking to expand. This latest move, therefore, is simply the company seeking to intimidate workers taking lawful industrial action in a long-running pay dispute.

Record profits

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 regurgitated, months-old plans are simply a desperate attempt to intimidate workers. It won’t work.”

“The employer MDHC is part of Peel Ports, which recently reported a record profit before tax of £141 million, greater than the entire wage bill for the year. Peel Ports has paid out more than £300 million in dividends over the last five years.”

New strike action

Unite workers are about to start a week-long (October 11-17) walk out demanding a pay rise in line with inflation (RPI) which is currently 12.3 per cent.

MDHC has already 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. 

Cynical attempt

Unite national officer Bobby Morton said: “Rather than enter into sensible negotiations, Peel Ports is making yet another cynical attempt to intimidate its workers. It is clear that they just want to avoid paying a fully affordable pay increase”


Notes to editors

Unite dismisses Peel Ports’ announcement of months-old restructuring plan 

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

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Instagram: unitetheunion Web: unitetheunion.org

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham