Liverpool dockers protest over lack of amenities

Poor conditions: Unite has called amenities at the Seaforth Container Terminal Poor conditions: Unite has called amenities at the Seaforth Container Terminal "appalling"
Industry Database

Dockers and lorry drivers have been protesting at the Port of Liverpool over a lack of toilet and catering facilities at the Seaforth container terminal.

The labour Union Unite said that over 100 workers gathered outside the terminal to protest over the poor conditions at the port including the basic right to have access to clean toilets, rest areas and canteen facilities.

Apparently the toilets are “appalling” given that there are up to 350 workers working 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Unite said there is also no provision for hot food after 2pm or at weekends, as well as no trade union facilities for health, safety and workplace representatives – despite a previous agreement to provide them.

Lorry drivers visiting the port are not provided with facilities to park their vehicles during a back log and the nearest safe and legal parking area with public conveniences is Burton Wood services in Warrington – 20 miles away.

Unite regional officer Colin Carr said: “Peel Ports is investing millions of pounds on transforming the port of Liverpool – making Seaforth the ‘dock of the future’. Yet, although our members are contributing in making this a reality, behind closed doors the company is treating its dedicated workforce badly by having scant regard for their wellbeing and welfare at work.”

“This is more like a port of the past than a port of the future."

Peel Ports said that hauliers accessing the Port of Liverpool have full use of the customer service toilets on Container Terminals 1 and 2, which it is solely responsible for.

With regards to the toilet and catering facilities for dockworkers, the operator said: “We do take the comfort of our staff and visitors seriously which is evidenced by our £250,000 investment in upgrading the customer service facilities which are available to dock workers on the Container Terminals.”

But it pointed out that employees do have the right ratio of amenities available to them. It said that at any one time there is only 94 people working on site, of which only 20 at a time will be on a break.

Peel added that there is an external catering company which is available to everyone on site from 7am to 5pm Monday to Friday. But it did say it is in the process of appointing external caterers to run the canteen on Terminal 2, 24/7.  Once appointed, the same hot and cold food options being offered on Terminal 2 will be made available on Terminal 1 for dockworkers to enjoy.

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