8-day strike to hit UK’s biggest container port

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LONDON — Workers at Felixstowe, Britain’s largest container port, are set to strike for eight days after rejecting a 7 percent pay increase.

Members of the Unite union announced Friday that they will walk out on August 21, arguing the 7 percent pay boost offered by the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company was “significantly below” inflation.

Felixstowe, in eastern England, handles about 4 million containers per year — or nearly half of the U.K.’s container trade. It benefits from its proximity to the European ports of Le Havre in France and Rotterdam in the Netherlands, among others.

“Both Felixstowe docks and its parent company CK Hutchison Holding Ltd are both massively profitable and incredibly wealthy,” said Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham. “They are fully able to pay the workforce a fair day’s pay.”

Unite predicts the strike will cause huge disruption since many of the workers walking out are crane drivers, machine operators and stevedores.

Further talks at the conciliation service Acas are due to take place Monday.