Hundreds of Liverpool dock workers began a two week strike on Monday after the latest round of negotiations over a pay dispute ended in ‘chaos’.
The container port is one of the largest in the UK and there are fears the industrial action could make it ‘inoperable’.
The dockers held an initial strike in September, however, the dispute remains unresolved and union members voted for further action.
The latest talks with Peel Ports ‘ended in farce’ last week, according to Unite’s general secretary Sharon Graham, who accused the hierarchy of reneging on an offer.
She said: “The deal agreed between Unite and senior management was pulled by the board. Strike action by our members and with the full support of Unite will go ahead.
“Peel Ports’ untrustworthy behaviour and its attempts to threaten the workforce are only escalating the dispute.”
However, Peel Ports insists they have made six improved offers to workers over the course of the dispute and has criticised Unite for ‘consistently blocking’ the involvement of The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) to help.
Peel Ports chief operating officer David Huck said: “It’s hugely disappointing that Unite has staged yet another outdated show-of-hands mass meeting which has, very predictably, failed to support our improved 11% pay offer.
“This is the highest percentage increase of any port group in the UK by far and would see average annual pay rise to £43,275.”
The strike over pay and jobs pay and jobs will run from October 24 to November 7.