Industrial dispute at Portsmouth port is suspended

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INDUSTRIAL action at Portsmouth International Port has been suspended as talks continue.

Quay assistants had been refusing to work overtime, and had voted to strike, over a dispute about new contracts.

The contracts would see them working past midnight with no extra money in return.

They will now vote on a deal that has been hammered out between the Unite union and Portsmouth City Council, which owns the port.

In a joint statement, the two organisations said: ‘An alternative proposal was brought forward from port management.

‘After consultation with Unite members, all industrial action has been suspended, while the union conducts a consultative ballot. The result of which will be known by the afternoon of Friday.’

Unite regional officer, Ian Woodland, said: ‘We have come to an agreement with PCC management and are putting the offer to our members.

‘Basically, management has agreed to bring people on inferior contracts up to the superior contracts and all overtime after midnight for any late sailings would be voluntary.

‘Our members have agreed to suspend action until the consultative ballot ends at noon on Friday.’

The 18 quay assistants are responsible for tying up and releasing cross-channel ferries.