Workers at Burke Shipping Services and Foyle Port demanding pay increase
Essential workers kept goods moving during pandemic
Unite members at Burke Shipping Services and Foyle Port will be taking strike action tomorrow (Monday) in pursuit of pay increases. It will be the second day of strike action at Burke Shipping Services and the first at Foyle Port. Commenting, Unite Regional Officer Gareth Scott said he expected the actions to significantly impact operations at the port complex following determined pickets by Burke Shipping Service workers on Friday:
“Our members working for both Burke Shipping Services and Foyle Port have kept goods moving throughout the pandemic. Yet stevedores and warehouse workers at Burke Shipping Services are paid less than comparable workers in the sector, while dockers and warehouse workers at Foyle Port faced a pay freeze last year and are being asked to accept a derisory pay increase this year.
Low-paid essential workers seek pay parity with rest of sector
Unite members working for Burke Shipping Services are taking strike action today (Friday) in pursuit of a pay increase to bring them into line with comparable workers in the sector. Workers will take strike action again on Monday 29 November. Burke Shipping Services is owned by the Fane Valley Cooperative.
Commenting, Unite Regional Officer Gareth Scott said:
“Our members have worked throughout the pandemic, performing essential work ranging from stevedoring to warehousing, and ensuring the smooth movement of goods.
“Yet the company has refused to engage meaningfully with us regarding our claim for a wage increase that would bring our members’ pay into line with the rest of the sector.
Unite union survey shows almost every worker at the Port and their families are struggling to make ends meet and now face a second year of poverty pay.
November 24th: The dispute follows management’s decision to reject workers’ modest demand for a 2.1% pay increase this year, following a pay freeze last year. The rejection of the union claim in effect extends last year’s pay freeze for another year and forces a pay cut on Foyle workers.
Trade union Unite, which represents workers at Foyle Port, has today (Wednesday) written to the Port and Harbour Commissioners outlining the background to strike action due to hit the port from Monday 29 November.
Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham said:
Low-paid essential workers kept services afloat during pandemic
November 23rd: Unite, which represents members working for Burke Shipping Services, today (Tuesday) announced that workers are set to take strike action on Friday 26 November, with a further day of action scheduled for Monday 29 November.
The company, which is a division of the Fane Valley Cooperative, provides a range of services at the port of Londonderry. Workers ensured the movement of essential goods throughout the pandemic.
Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham said: “ Workers in Burke Shipping Services deserve pay parity with the rest of the sector – and the sector as a whole needs a pay boost in recognition of their critical contribution during the pandemic. Unite is now totally focussed on defending our members’ jobs, pay and conditions and that includes the workers at Burke Shipping.”
November 19th: In light of the current COVID-19 situation on both sides of the border, Unite the union has asked the Football Association of Ireland and the Irish Football Association to postpone the Unite the union Champions Cup tournament until 2022 and both Associations have agreed to this request.
Unite the union Deputy Regional Secretary Davy Thompson stated: “Due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases both North and South, we in conjunction with the FAI and IFA have taken the decision to postpone the Unite the Union Champions Cup until 2022. While this was a decision we hoped we would not have to take, we believe it is the responsible approach given the current pressures on our health services. Unite has stood in solidarity with our health services throughout this pandemic, and we feel that a major cross-border event such as the Champions Cup could potentially place an additional burden on healthcare workers. We would like to thank the Associations and clubs for the joint decision taken today. We also want to take this opportunity to thank all those working on the front line for their continuing dedication to the public.”