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Dover unaffected by strikes

Despite 300 staff on strike, it is business as usual, the port says. All ferry services are expected to run normal.

DOVER Harbour Board says it is business as usual at the port today, as strikes by about 300 harbour staff move into their second day.

The workers, who are members of the Unite union, are protesting at the board’s decision to transfer 190 mooring, trailer handling and security jobs to outside firms in January.

A spokesman for the harbour board insisted there was no effect on the public yesterday and would be none today.

“There is a full ferry service and we have been training up other staff to do essential tasks.” The strike ends tomorrow on Thursday at 7.00.

Kent Police had warned there could be delays on the roads if freight services were disrupted but so far this has not been necessary.

The harbour board the changes will be in the public interest and added that it would pave the way for the proposed second ferry terminal which would double the port’s capacity

At present Unite has refused to enter “consultation on the detail of the transfers,” the port says.

Unite, however, say they “do not take strike action lightly and are still prepared to negotiate over the best way to protect workers’ jobs.”

Unite regional organiser Jane Jeffrey said: “Our members have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action to protect their employment with the Port of Dover.

“They are determined to protect their terms and conditions of employment, and most importantly pensions, which will undoubtedly be threatened by these outsourcing plans.”

Unite’s docks and waterways secretary, Brendan Gold, claimed outsourcing was a cost-cutting measure which would lead to less efficient security.

Photo:Cruccone Blue

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