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Victory To British Felixstowe Dockers! Join Action At SF UK Consulate: United We Stand

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Date:
Monday, August 22, 2022
Time:
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Event Type:
Protest
Organizer/Author:
UFCLP
Location Details:
UK Consulate San Francisco
1 Sansome St./Market
San Franciscoo

Victory To The British Felixstowe Dockers! Join The Action on August 22 At SF UK Consulate
Solidarity Has No Borders!
An Injury To One Is An Injury To All!

Monday August 22, 2022 12:00 Noon
British Consulate 1 Sansome St/Market
San Francisco


On Sunday August 21, 2022 British dockers at the Port of Felixstowe which is the largest port in the UK. These dockers are members of UNITE and this is a 7 day strike for more wages.

The inflation in the UK and around the world including the US means wage cuts and there is a growing strike wave in the UK.

The British government and bosses are also facing rail, tube, public workers and teachers who are hitting the streets. The Tory government is also threatening to ban workers from striking in order to shutdown this growing workers rebellion against the capitalist system that is destroying their lives. There is increasing support to unite all these struggles for a general strike to bring down this rotten reactionary Tory government.

The Liverpool dockers are also moving toward a strike as well. US longshore workers in 1995 supported the Liverpool dockers who faced the union busting attack of bosses & the government who privatized the ports to destroy the unions.

The same issue is taking place now in Oakland where the Democratic mayor, City Council, Rob Bonta, Nancy Skinner and Governor Gavin Newsom are trying to privatize the Port of Oakland for billionaire union buster and the GAP and A’s owner John Fisher for a new stadium. They even wnat to give him $850 million of tax money while public schools are being shut down like Parker Elementary. The Democrats who run the school board voted to close 11 schools in working class Black and Brown community. Parents, teachers and community members have turned it into a liberation school and need support.

The shipping bosses and the PMA are also on the attack. They want to automate the docks and destroy the jobs of ILWU longshore workers coastwise. The action of the Felixstowe dockers must be joined by action of US longshore workers who also face the same attacks. The Biden administration and US Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh are supporting the bosses against US railway workers who face horrendous conditions and they are telling longshore workers they better not take action to defend their jobs and rights. Longshore and rail workers need to join together for a united fight together.

This is also at a time when these shipping companies have made billions of dollars during the pandemic. Their greed and demands for automation to eliminate ILWU jobs are being backed by Biden and Walsh who tell workers to keep working although the contract expired in on July 1.

The UFCLP supports the formation of a mass democratic labor party that will be based on working people against the billionaires who run both the Republicans and Democrats and are pushing privatization, repression & driving working people back to work in the middle of a pandemic and with no real health and safety protection. Profits come first for the bosses and Democrats who do their bidding.
We also need to build internationallsm and unite our struggles globally.

Join The Picket In Solidarity With Felixstowe Dockers at the UK Consulate

Monday August 22, 2022 12:00 Noon
1 Sansome St./Market
San Francisco

Initiated by
United Front Committee For A Labor Party UFCLP
Solidarity Has No Borders
http://www.ufclp.org
info [at] ufclp.org

Britain’s Largest Container Port Felixstowe Port to Strike-Action On August 21
Dock workers at the Port of Felixstowe along Britain’s east coast are set to go on an eight-day strike later this August after negotiations between their union and the port owner fell through.

The Unite union, which represents 1,900 workers, rejected the offer from port owner CK Hutchison Holdings, a Hong Kong-based conglomerate that made a pre-tax profit of almost £61m in 2020 from the port.

CK Hutchison is offering a 7% pay raise and £500 bonus. Unite wants a better offer, given that retail inflation has hit 11.8%, and workers received a below-inflation pay increase of 1.4% last year.

“Both Felixstowe Docks and its parent company CK Hutchison Holding Ltd are both massively profitable and incredibly wealthy. They are fully able to pay the workforce a fair day’s pay,” Unite’s general secretary Sharon Graham said. “The company has prioritized delivering multi-million pound dividends rather than paying its workers a decent wage.”

The upcoming strike will be the port’s first since 1989. Port of Felixstowe, about 90 miles east of London, handles around 40% of containers leaving and arriving in the U.K.


Strikes announced at port of Felixstowe as company fails to make acceptable pay offer

https://www.unitetheunion.org/news-events/news/2022/august/strikes-announced-at-port-of-felixstowe-as-company-fails-to-make-acceptable-pay-offer/?fbclid=IwAR35QOn3Yort-pTnKWh7w-5ur0Ci8gxqEr2M4kgmYqfqD7Cn41O31IGPCi0
Friday 5 August 2022 Share
Workers at the port of Felixstowe will begin strike action later this month in a dispute over pay after peace talks at the conciliation service Acas failed to produce a reasonable offer.

Eight days of strikes

Over 1,900 workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, will begin eight days of strike action on Sunday 21 August ending on Monday 29 August.

Talks at Acas failed to reach a satisfactory conclusion yesterday after the employer the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company failed to improve on its offer of a seven per cent pay increase, which is significantly below the real (RPI) inflation rate of 11.8 per cent. Industrial relations were already strained as workers only received a 1.4 per cent, below inflation, increase last year.

Massive profits

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Both Felixstowe docks and its parent company CK Hutchison Holding Ltd are both massively profitable and incredibly wealthy. They are fully able to pay the workforce a fair day’s pay.

“The company has prioritised delivering multi-million pound dividends rather than paying its workers a decent wage.

“Unite is entirely focused on enhancing its members’ jobs, pay and conditions and it will be giving the workers at Felixstowe its complete support until this dispute is resolved and a decent pay increase is secured.”

Largest container port

Felixstowe is the UK’s largest container port and 48 per cent of containers brought into the UK are transported via the port.

Strike action will have a huge effect on the UK’s supply chain and will also cause severe disruption to international maritime trade, as well as the UK’s supply chain including the logistics and haulage sectors.

Wealthy companies

The Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company is extremely profitable; its most recent accounts show that it made pre-tax profits of £61 million in 2020, when it also paid out £99 million in dividends.

The company’s dividends are paid into a complicated company structure but are principally received by the organisation’s ultimate holding company, CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. It is registered in the Cayman Islands and listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

The workers undertake all forms of manual roles at the docks including crane drivers, machine operators and stevedores.

Huge disruption

Unite national office for docks Bobby Morton said: “Strike action will cause huge disruption and will generate massive shockwaves throughout the UK’s supply chain, but this dispute is entirely of the company’s own making. It has had every opportunity make our members a fair offer but has chosen not to do so.

“Felixstowe needs to stop prevaricating and make a pay offer which meets our members’ expectations.”

Further talks

Further talks are scheduled to take place at Acas next Monday (8 August).

ENDS

Notes to editors

Massive 92 per cent yes vote for strike action at Felixstowe Docks

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

Email: barckley.sumner [at] 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.

Further reading

Liverpool docks braced for disruption after MDHC port operatives overwhelming strike vote
Fair Pay for Red Funnel workers
Unite members at Network Rail join rail strikes over pay
Interest rate rise spells misery for millions warns Unite
Unite secures pay rise for Port of Bristol workers
Massive 92 per cent yes vote for strike action at Felixstowe Docks
In latest Tory anti-union attacks transport minister Shapps pledges to drive workers back to the workhouse
Unite leader says any attempt to make trade unions illegal will be met with “fierce, prolonged resistance”

In latest Tory anti-union attacks transport minister Shapps pledges to drive workers back to the workhouse

https://www.unitetheunion.org/news-events/news/2022/july/in-latest-tory-anti-union-attacks-transport-minister-shapps-pledges-to-drive-workers-back-to-the-workhouse/
Wednesday 27 July 2022
Share
Today (Wednesday 27 July) in a lengthy interview with the Daily Telegraph - which is where most proposed government legislation seems to be announced these days - transport minister Grant Shapps announced the latest plans in the government’s campaign to outlaw unions.

Shapps said he was looking at banning certain strikes, cutting the right of trade unionists to picket workplaces and “outlawing intimidatory language” used by union leaders.

In a measured response to these draconian proposals Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham said: “If Grant Shapps had his way we would all still be in the workhouse.

“His intervention is just the latest in a growing list of political attacks on trade unions and the most fundamental rights held by working people.

“Whilst this outbreak is clearly framed by a fashion parade within the Conservative Party, it is also deeply serious and shows just how out of touch our political class are.

“The government has miscalculated. People can see behind the usual narrative of “union bad, boss good”. This is not the 1970’s. The cost of living crisis is the latest episode in a long term war on the living standards of workers.

“For decades wages have been pushed down while profits for bosses and investors have gone up and up. Since 1975, the share of national income that people take home in wages has dropped by 10 per cent of GDP.

“The economy isn’t working and trade unions are the last line of defence for workers.

“When P&O sacked 800 workers at a moments notice, the company did not have to ballot anyone or petition the government to see if they could do it. It’s one law for the bosses and another law for the rest for us.

“I will not apologise for demanding and winning fair pay rises for my members and any action to effectively remove the ability to strike will be met with fierce and prolonged resistance.”

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.

Email: barckley.sumner [at] 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

Eight-day strike by UNITE Felixstowe dockers expected to disrupt UK supply chain
Owners prioritise multimillion-pound shareholder dividends over paying decent wages, says union

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/aug/05/felixstowe-dockers-plan-eight-day-strike-in-pay-dispute

Felixstowe, Suffolk, is Britain's biggest container port and the strike will affect the UK’s supply chains.
Felixstowe, Suffolk, is Britain's biggest container port and the strike will affect the UK’s supply chains.

Dockers at Felixstowe are planning eight days of strike action over pay that could cause serious disruption to the UK’s largest container port.

Nearly 1,900 workers plan to stop work for more than a week at the Hong Kong-owned port, starting on Sunday 21 August and ending on Monday 29 August, according to the union Unite. The workers voted 92% in favour of strike action last week.

The union said the latest round of talks with the company at the conciliation service Acas had failed to yield a “reasonable offer”, but further talks are planned for Monday.

Prolonged strikes would almost certainly disrupt traffic through the port, adding to the problems facing the UK economy as it braces for a deep, year-long recession.

Felixstowe, on the Suffolk coast, handles the equivalent of 4m 20-ft shipping containers every year from about 2,000 ships – including some of the very largest container ships ever made. It is the eighth-largest container port in Europe, according to the EU statistics agency, Eurostat.

The port employs 2,500 people overall. Unite said the loss of the majority of its workforce, including crane drivers, machine operators and stevedores (responsible for unloading ships) would have a “huge effect” on the UK’s supply chains. However, a source at the port said a strike would not mean shutting it completely.

The pay dispute is the latest in a series of problems to hit UK transport infrastructure. Travellers through Dover also suffered massive queues last month when the port failed to cope with high numbers of holidaymakers after the end of term for many schools in England and Wales.

Workers and train drivers on Great Britain’s railways have also gone on several strikes, with further action planned on two days over the next fortnight.

Unite said it had rejected an offer from the employer, Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company, of a 7% pay increase. The union said it was below the 11.8% retail prices index (RPI) rate of inflation, its preferred measure, and that workers received a below-inflation 1.4% pay increase last year. Company figures suggest the average annual pay of the workers involved is £43,000.

Felixstowe is ultimately owned by CK Hutchison Holdings, a conglomerate based in Hong Kong that controls 52 ports around the world, handling the equivalent of 88m 20-ft containers. It also owns a series of other businesses operating in the UK, ranging from the retailers Superdrug and The Perfume Shop, the Three mobile network, and water and energy companies.


Unite’s general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “Felixstowe docks and its parent company, CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd, are both massively profitable and incredibly wealthy. They are fully able to pay the workforce a fair day’s pay.

“The company has prioritised delivering multimillion-pound dividends rather than paying its workers a decent wage.”

Unite pointed to dividend payments made by the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company to its owners. The dividends were worth £100m in 2020 and £42m in 2021, according to company accounts.
Added to the calendar on Thu, Aug 18, 2022 10:52AM
§An Injury To One Is An Injury To All
by UFCLP
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An Injury To One Is An Injury To All is the slogan for workers around the world
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A child whose school was being closed in Oakland was picketing the docks. While the Port bosses make billions, the Democrats are closing down working class Black and Brown schools in Oakland. This was a joint action of striking OEA teachers and longshore workers who had a stop work meeting to commemorate Juneteenth.
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