American Shipper

Tilbury dockworkers plan strike Monday

   Dockworkers at the Port of Tilbury in England are set to strike May 7 over a change in their contract that calls on them to work when ships are ready for unloading, not in set shift patterns.
   Forty-five employees are involved in the planned action, all of them at the Enterprise Distribution Centre in Essex and members of the union Unite. The union said it is the first strike by dockworkers at Tilbury since 1989.
   The workers will picket outside the main gate of Tilbury docks to protest the so-called “follow the ship” contract.
   “Our members are set to lose about £2,500-a-year because EDC is arbitrarily imposing these new contracts,” said Unite regional officer Jane Jeffery. “Members are annoyed at the complete lack of negotiation and consultation. Since the ballot for strike action, we have had no formal communication with the company.
   “We want to hold meaningful and genuine talks with the management on this issue. This is a 24-hour strike – the first by the dockers in 23 years – but more strikes could be on the cards, if there is no movement in this dispute,” Jeffery said.
   EDC deals with the unloading and distribution of paper reels.