‘Unity is strength’ - Jamie Carragher and Steven Graham voice support for striking Liverpool dockers

Over 500 members of Unite at the Port of Liverpool will strike for next fortnight in a dispute over pay.

Influential and famous Scousers have voiced their support for the Liverpool dockers who have gone on strike calling for fair pay.

The industrial action from workers at the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company began at 6:00 this morning.

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher, actor Steven Graham and boxing world champion Natasha Jonas have all spoken out in support of the dockers.

Why are Liverpool dockers on strike?

Over 500 members of Unite at the Port of Liverpool join the long list of workers striking for a pay increase, as inflation sits at a whopping 10%.

The strike action will severely disrupt both shipping and road transport in Liverpool and the surrounding areas.

The Peel Ports Group, which owns Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, said workers had rejected an offer of an 8.3% pay rise, enhanced with a one-off payment of £750.

The Port of Liverpool. Photo: Anthony Devlin/Getty Images

However, Unite argue that this is a pay cut in real terms, as it sits below the rate of inflation, which is currently 9.9%.

Support from famouse Scousers

Liverpool legend turned football pundit Jamie Carragher said: “This is my message in support of the Liverpool dockers who are going on strike to improve the pay and work conditions of the whole workforce.

“I’m fully behind what you’re doing, you’ve got my support and backing.”

“You fully deserve everything that you’re fighting for - keep going.”

Kirkby-born actor Stephen Graham also shared support, saying: “Over 99% of dockers have voted to strike.

“It’s important that we stick together.

“My family’s always supported me so that’s why I’m supporting the dockers.

“Remember lads, stick together, unity is strength.”

Liverpool pro-boxer and Unified World Champion Natasha Jonas said: “I’m just here to support all the dockers in the strike for fair pay on Tuesday.

“There’s strength in unity, let’s all stick together and get behind them.”

What Unite and Port of Liverpool have said

Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, which made more than £30 million in profits in 2021, is owned by the Peel Group ­– based in the Isle of Man tax haven.

Due to the current pay offer being below the rate of inflation, workers would realistically be facing a pay cut.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “MDHC is controlled by a tax-exiled billionaire and can well afford to pay these workers a proper pay rise.

“Workers across the country are sick to death of being told to take a hit on their wages and living standards while employer after employer is guilty of rampant profiteering. MDHC needs to think again, table a reasonable offer and fulfil its previous pay promises.”

Previous strike action at the Port of Liverpool. Photo: Anthony Devlin/Getty Images

David Huck, the Port of Liverpool’s chief operating officer, said: “I am deeply disappointed Unite has rejected our significant pay package after many months of negotiation. This is bad news for our employees, families and other local employers.

“We fully recognise our colleagues’ concerns on the cost of living crisis, and that’s why we have responded with a pay package that represents a 10% average increase in annual pay.

“The Port of Liverpool is a major employer in the Liverpool City Region.

“We have invested more than £1.2b over the last decade, transforming the prosperity of the region, creating more than 900 new skilled jobs and, in turn, supporting more than 7,200 additional local jobs in the supply chain.

“We urge the union to work with us at the negotiating table so that together, we can find a resolution.”

If a pay agreement is not reached, Unite the Union members will undertake further strike action.