Port of Grangemouth Faces Two Week Longshore Strike

File image courtesy Knight Watson

By MarEx 2016-03-14 20:57:32

Longshoremen at Grangemouth, Scotland's largest container port, are set to begin a two week walkout over pay and changes to shifts. 

Union representatives with Unite said that the proposed shift changes amounted to a pay cut, and that 73 of the port's 75 organized longshoremen, including crane and loader operators, had voted for the action. The strike will begin after midnight UTC Monday night. 

Grangemouth has a volume of 150,000 containers a year, mostly regional routes to and from the continent. It says that its facilities handle a significant fraction of Scotland's GDP. 

Forth Ports, the operator of the facility, said that the strike was unjustified. "Our staff and their union accepted the need for [shift flexibility] and that shift patterns may require to change in the future, when this element of their employment contracts was agreed in 2011," the firm said in a statement. 

Ships agents GAC said that "if the planned industrial action goes ahead, from Tuesday morning there will be no shipside activity within the port’s container terminal, initially for a period of up to two weeks. Landside operations will be maintained to allow containers currently in the terminal to be picked up."

"General cargo, liquid cargo and warehousing will not be affected by the action and the port estate will remain open for tenants’ businesses," the agency added.