UPDATE: Portsmouth MMD workers call off strike over contracts

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WORKERS from Portsmouth shipping firm MMD have decided to call off planned strike action this weekend in a bid to solve problems over new contracts.

Staff from Portsmouth shipping firm MMD were set to take to the picket line after union members were balloted over the possibility of industrial action.

The majority of employees in the Unision union agreed to take action as they say they have been forced to sign new contracts, which see certain privileges such as sick pay taken away.

But Unison has now confirmed it wants to be able to thrash out talks with MMD bosses to resolve the dispute.

But the threat of industrial action is set to affect port operations this weekend.

An MMD statement said: ‘Following discussions yesterday, Unison have agreed to postpone their industrial action.

‘This is on the basis of further talks over the next two weeks in which we will seek to

reach an amicable solution.

‘We have been able to reassure ship operators and hauliers that MMD will work bormally until at least the 3rd September, by which time we hope to have reached agreement.

‘Unfortunately, due to the threat of industrial action, one of our customers, Cool Carriers ship ‘Crown Opal’ has had to make alternative arrangements to be discharged this Saturday.’

Picket lines were to be set up at Flathouse Quay from Saturday to Tuesday.

Unison and Portsmouth Trades Council had asked for people to go and show their support.