THURROCK MEP Richard Howitt has backed calls for a trade union to be established at the new London Gateway port.
The superport In the Manorway, Stanford-Le-Hope, will open later this year and employ a 2,500- strong workforce.
However, port owner, Dubai-based DP World, has refused to recognise the union, according to Unite, which claims this could mean a “race to the bottom” in terms of employment conditions.
DP World said it wants to give employees a choice over if and what union they join.
But Mr Howitt does not believe safety of workers should be compromised because of the squabble.
He said: “I back the call for proper trade union recognition at the new Thames Gateway port.
“The unions are recognised at other deep water container ports, including Felixstowe/Harwich where health and safety for what can be dangerous work on the docks is paramount.
“The safety and welfare of workers cannot be compromised.”