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Major UK port set for fresh eight-day strike

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Workers at Britain's largest container port, Felixstowe, are to strike for a further eight days, union bosses announced Tuesday, as the country suffers a cost-of-living crisis.

The walkout from September 27 until early October 5 comes after an initial eight-day stoppage over the summer as dockers and railway staff at the port in eastern England demand pay rises to keep up with decades-high inflation.

"The latest strike action is entirely of Felixstowe's own making," Bobby Morton of union Unite, said in a statement.

"Rather than seeking to negotiate a deal to resolve the dispute, the company instead tried to impose a pay deal."

Morton said the new strikes "will inevitably lead to delays and disruption to the UK's supply chain".

Unite said the port is responsible for almost half of the UK's container goods.

The union said management at the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company had "unilaterally ended pay talks after refusing to improve its pay offer and instead announced that it was imposing a pay deal of seven percent".

UK annual inflation stands above ten percent and is set to surge further before next year as energy and food bills soar.

Felixstowe port expressed disappointment at the new walkout, adding however there is "no prospect of agreement being reached with the union".

Britain has experienced a summer of strikes, spearheaded by tens of thousands of railway workers carrying out their biggest stoppage in 30 years, as pay offers fail to keep up with soaring inflation.

Rail staff and postal workers have however postponed walkouts planned for this week following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Inflation has soared around the globe this year on supply constraints after economies reopened from pandemic lockdowns, and in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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