Port health inspectors at the Port of Southampton are to join industrial action taking place across the city, in defiance of plans from the local Conservative-led council to force municipal workers into pay cuts.
According to the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), the council intends to issue all municipal workers with dismissal letters and new contracts to be signed within a 90-day deadline, or face termination of their employment.
Workers represented by the ITF-affiliated unions Unite and Unison are taking industrial action. This includes port health inspectors, who are responsible for issuing health certificates to all ships using the port, in addition to checking food imports arriving into the UK.
The ITF has informed its inspectors to notify their local port state controls of any incoming cruise ships which have left the Port of Southampton without a health certificate.
Port unions are also to be informed of any such vessels, after the ITF claimed some cruise ships are planning to break the strike by leaving port without a health certificate, with the aim of receiving one in their next port.