Industrial action called off by port workers

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QUAY assistants working at Portsmouth International Port have voted to accept a deal on new contracts.

The assistants, who are responsible for tying and untying ships at the port, had voted to strike in a protest over a proposed contract which they said was unfair.

It would have seen them working beyond their current finish time of midnight if required, with no additional financial compensation.

Some of the newer assistants had already been moved to the new contract, and had to watch as their colleagues downed tools at midnight.

Now all 18 quay assistants will be on the old contract, and all overtime after midnight will be voluntary.

In a joint statement, the employers, Portsmouth City Council and Unite, which represents the quay assistants, said: ‘Earlier last week negotiations between Unite the union and Portsmouth International Port resumed and a new proposal was offered to quay assistants.

‘A consultative ballot has taken place amongst Unite members and the quay assistants have unanimously voted in favour of accepting the new proposal.’