More talks over Portsmouth port dispute

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FURTHER talks are to be held between Portsmouth International Port and the Unite trade union in a dispute over port staff contracts.

The union says the port’s quay assistants, who are responsible for tying and untying the ships, are being forced to sign new contracts.

These extend the assistants’ working hours beyond midnight, but do not increase their wages to match.

The assistants this week voted to take strike action over the contracts, and have begun an overtime ban.

In a joint statement, port owner Portsmouth City Council and Unite, said: ‘After Unite’s overwhelming industrial action ballot in favour of strike action, officials from Unite and Portsmouth Port management met yesterday and have agreed to meet on Monday to commence negotiations to resolve the dispute.’