Union celebrates after superport breakthrough

A TRADE union fighting for recognition at the new £1.5billion superport, London Gateway, is celebrating a breakthrough.

Unite, which mainly represents industrial workers and is one of the biggest unions in the UK, has signed an agreement with DP World, which owns London Gateway port. This will give the group access to workers there.

That, in turn, could lead to Unite becoming the port’s recognised union.

Port owners up until now had refused to formally recognise a union.

A bitter spat has taken place between port and union bosses, which saw campaigners jump on Boris Johnson’s car as he left the facility after a visit in July.

The Echo understands the gamechanger was the support Unite received from the Spanish dock workers union, which refused to work on any ship due to dock at London Gateway.

That posed a threat to business at the port, which welcomed its first ship last month.

Vince Passfield, deputy regional secretary of Unite’s London and Eastern region, said: “We are cautiously optimistic as the campaign enters this new phase.”

Mike Le-Surf, Labour’s South Basildon and East Thurrock parliamentary candidate, said: “As a firm supporter of union recognition in the workplace, I hope this is the beginning of a process that will support workers at the port for many years to come and bring more local jobs to the area.”

But Thurrock MP, Jackie Doyle-Price, criticised the union’s tactics, having previously called them “bullies”.

She said: “I hope this will herald a rather less militant stance than has been taken by Unite hitherto.

“Ultimately, it is up to the workers to choose their union.

Unite should not think it has the right to be the recognised union there.”

Comments (6)

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11:45am Tue 24 Dec 13

rayleigh123 says...

I am not and never been a union man, but the way big business behaves and treats their workers, perhaps the time as come for more stronger unions to counter balance their almost inhumane ways.

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I am not and never been a union man, but the way big business behaves and treats their workers, perhaps the time as come for more stronger unions to counter balance their almost inhumane ways. . . . rayleigh123

3:23pm Tue 24 Dec 13

emcee says...

Unions are of their time... yesterday. Over the decades, they achieved many good things with regards to working conditions and workers rights. However, once they had their cake they then wanted to eat it and became greedy.
Unions are of very little use in todays workforce and only achieve negativity in the workplace. These days they only have political agendas and rarely give a d*mn about individual workers. This may be why union membership is are dwindling. The workforce are finally waking up to the fact that unions no longer represent the workforce first but exist only to try and boost their political position.
Unions are of their time... yesterday. Over the decades, they achieved many good things with regards to working conditions and workers rights. However, once they had their cake they then wanted to eat it and became greedy. Unions are of very little use in todays workforce and only achieve negativity in the workplace. These days they only have political agendas and rarely give a d*mn about individual workers. This may be why union membership is are dwindling. The workforce are finally waking up to the fact that unions no longer represent the workforce first but exist only to try and boost their political position. emcee

4:41pm Tue 24 Dec 13

Thames Gateway says...

Save your money, unions are generally not interested in the small man/woman, (the only time they are interested is when they are trying to sign you up)> all I can see they want to do is to try to steer politics to the far left whilst at the same time the reps. enjoying the benefits of paid for jaunts from members contributions.
Save your money, unions are generally not interested in the small man/woman, (the only time they are interested is when they are trying to sign you up)> all I can see they want to do is to try to steer politics to the far left whilst at the same time the reps. enjoying the benefits of paid for jaunts from members contributions. Thames Gateway

5:29pm Tue 24 Dec 13

leslog says...

surely its far better to have union representation at this new Super port ,than just the owners ,taking all the rewards,and, leaving crumbs for the workforce ,apparently ,some agreement being achieved because of a ban by port workers in SPAIN not handling goods to and from SPAIN ,better rules for employees and employers than a dog eats dog situation at the workplace
surely its far better to have union representation at this new Super port ,than just the owners ,taking all the rewards,and, leaving crumbs for the workforce ,apparently ,some agreement being achieved because of a ban by port workers in SPAIN not handling goods to and from SPAIN ,better rules for employees and employers than a dog eats dog situation at the workplace leslog

11:54am Wed 25 Dec 13

bigmak says...

It would be better to see Unite actually trying to encourage companies to invest here rather than trying to scare them away. Never ever seen a union rep on any any DTI export iinitiative trying to attract investors to open up here, that is what the German unions do but then they are interested in developing businesses not engaged in a political do fight
It would be better to see Unite actually trying to encourage companies to invest here rather than trying to scare them away. Never ever seen a union rep on any any DTI export iinitiative trying to attract investors to open up here, that is what the German unions do but then they are interested in developing businesses not engaged in a political do fight bigmak

2:07pm Thu 26 Dec 13

UrbanBlues says...

emcee wrote:
Unions are of their time... yesterday. Over the decades, they achieved many good things with regards to working conditions and workers rights. However, once they had their cake they then wanted to eat it and became greedy.
Unions are of very little use in todays workforce and only achieve negativity in the workplace. These days they only have political agendas and rarely give a d*mn about individual workers. This may be why union membership is are dwindling. The workforce are finally waking up to the fact that unions no longer represent the workforce first but exist only to try and boost their political position.
Of course unions have political agenda, this has always been the case. How do you suppose H&S legislation came about? Who do you think was behind the 5-day week? Who was the first to push for equal pay?

Do you suppose any of these improvements in the workplace came about by chance. Or maybe you believe they were through the actions of bosses.
[quote][p][bold]emcee[/bold] wrote: Unions are of their time... yesterday. Over the decades, they achieved many good things with regards to working conditions and workers rights. However, once they had their cake they then wanted to eat it and became greedy. Unions are of very little use in todays workforce and only achieve negativity in the workplace. These days they only have political agendas and rarely give a d*mn about individual workers. This may be why union membership is are dwindling. The workforce are finally waking up to the fact that unions no longer represent the workforce first but exist only to try and boost their political position.[/p][/quote]Of course unions have political agenda, this has always been the case. How do you suppose H&S legislation came about? Who do you think was behind the 5-day week? Who was the first to push for equal pay? Do you suppose any of these improvements in the workplace came about by chance. Or maybe you believe they were through the actions of bosses. UrbanBlues

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