Port of Dundee staff set to secure boosted pay rise after union talks

Workers at the Port of Dundee are tipped to secure a higher pay rise from their bosses after airing concerns over working conditions.

Union reps from Unite met with bosses of parent company Forth Ports last week in a bid to hammer out a deal as part of the annual pay negotiation, amid local concerns over shift patterns.

The port handles decommissioning work and oil rig maintenance, and also hosts visiting and departing cruise ships.

Staff rejected a proposed 2% pay rise earlier this week, saying it didn’t reflect the work staff put in. The port reported a 21% year-on-year rise in profits in 2018.

It is understood an above-inflation offer of 2.2% is now on the table, and is expected to be accepted.

A worker at the port spoke to the Tele on the condition of anonymity, as workers are not authorised to speak to the press.

He said: “We’re in the middle of the negotiations and trying to get working conditions clarified.

“We’d been offered a pay rise of  2% but when Forth Ports are saying to the media their profits are up 21% that isn’t enough.”

It has been claimed staff are being put on over-demanding rounds of nightshifts, with cuts being made to overtime payment even as workers plug gaps in the workforce with extra shifts.

The port worker added: “The bosses said they would discuss all those concerns after we agreed to the pay deal. There’s some ambiguities in our contracts that seem to work in the company’s favour.”

Picture shows; General scenes of work, vessels and oil rigs in Dundee port. 

A spokeswoman for Forth Ports said: “We are working closely with our employees at the Port of Dundee and the Unite union during the annual salary consultation process.

“We have increased the pay offer in Dundee, which has been accepted by a significant number of Unite members across our other ports.

“We are hopeful that the outcome of our discussions with the employees in Dundee will be positive.”

Accounts for the year ending December 31 2018 show Forth Ports’ pre-tax profits rose from £90.2 million to £98.8m.

Finance boss Carole Cran described it as “a strong year”, adding: “The Port of Dundee grew its profits by 21% year on year on the back of increased North Sea oil and gas revenues, jack up rig related activity and a higher number of cruise calls.”

George Ramsay, regional industrial officer, said: “Our reps are fighting to get the best deal for our members.”

Source: Evening Telegraph website