Port workers are striking over changes to shift patterns and pay
STRIKING WORKERS at a port situated next to the Grangemouth oil refinery have taken to the picket lines for a third day today as part of their two-week strike over proposed changes to shift patterns and pay.
The workers, organised by the Unite union, are in dispute with their employer Forth Ports , over changes to weekend working and pay which they fear will disrupt their work-life balance and leave them out of pocket.
Pat Rafferty, the Unite Scotland regional secretary, said: “We are striking due to changes in the working patterns that Forth Ports have imposed on the workforce.
“These changes will affect the workers’ work life balance – they would need to spend every second weekend in the docks – as opposed to spending quality time at home with their families. Not only does this have an effect on their work-life balance, but also on their financial security as well.
“The dispute is trying to get the company back to the negotiating table, in order to come to a negotiated settlement on this – whereby we have reached a mutual agreement between the workforce and the company.
“This is possible, as we believe that if both parties have the will to achieve this, then an agreement can be reached. We are happy to enter into negotiation, under the auspices of ACAS. We call on Forth Ports to come to that negotiating table in order to settle this dispute.”
Unite says that tanker drivers have respected the strike, refusing to drive past pickets in solidarity.
Forth Ports has confirmed that its operation at the port has been disrupted.
Forth Ports is one of the most expensive industrial concerns in the UK. On the Firth of Forth alone it operates five ports – at Grangemouth, Burntisland, Methil, Rosyth and Leith.
The Grangemouth port is one of Scotland’s most important strategic economic assets, with around 30 per cent of all Scottish GDP passing through its docks.
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Pictures courtesy of Jordan Daly