Breakthrough for union in fight for super port recognition

Thurrock Gazette: Unite members protesting outside London Gateway in July - moments before several mounted Boris' 4x4 Unite members protesting outside London Gateway in July - moments before several mounted Boris' 4x4

A UNION fighting for recognition at the new £1.5billion superport is celebtrating a breakthrough.

Unite, which mainly backs industrial workers and is one of the biggest unions in the UK, has signed an agreement with DP World, who own London Gateway port, which will give them access to workers there.

That in turn could lead to Unite becoming the port’s recognised union which it wants.

Port owners up until now had refused to formally recognise a union.

A bitter spat has followed between port and union bosses, which saw campaigners jump on Boris Johnson’s car as he left the port following a visit in July.

The Gazette understands the gamechanger was support Unite had received from the Spanish dock workers union who refused to work on any ship due to dock at London Gateway.

That posed a threat to business at the port, which welcomed its first ship last month.

Vince Passfield, deputy regional secretary of Unite’s London and Eastern region said: “We are cautiously optimistic as the campaign enters this new phase.”

Mike Le-Surf, Labour’s South Basildon and East Thurrock MP parliamentry candidate, said: “As a firm supporter of union recognition in the workplace I hope that this is the beginning of a process that will support workers at the port for many years to come - and bring more local jobs to the area.”

But Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price criticised the union’s tactics, having previously called them “bullies”.

She said: “I hope that this will herald a rather less militant stance than has been taken by Unite hitherto.

“Ultimately it is up to the workers to choose their union. Unite should not think they have the right to be the recognised union there.”

Comments (1)

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3:20pm Mon 30 Dec 13

PoorFleet says...

I think Jackie hits the nail on the head -

“Ultimately it is up to the workers to choose their union. Unite should not think they have the right to be the recognised union there.”

Workers should choose who they want to represent them. Not have it chosen for them.
I think Jackie hits the nail on the head - “Ultimately it is up to the workers to choose their union. Unite should not think they have the right to be the recognised union there.” Workers should choose who they want to represent them. Not have it chosen for them. PoorFleet

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