Page last updated at 08:06 GMT, Thursday, 27 November 2008

Port workers stage second strike

Dover strike
Managers were drafted in to cover workers' jobs in the last strike

Workers at a Kent port have started a three-day strike over the privatisation of their jobs.

The action by Dover Harbour Board staff started at 0700 GMT and is expected to continue until noon on Saturday.

More than 300 members of the Unite union took part in a 48-hour strike last week but managers stood in to prevent disruption to ferry crossings.

The transfer of the employees' jobs to a private firm is scheduled ahead of the construction of a second terminal.

Unite has said its members would suffer a downturn in pay, hours and conditions of employment, and lose pension protection if jobs were transferred.

Dover Harbour Board chief executive Bob Goldfield previously described the strike as pointless.

The harbour board wants to turn the former Hoverport at the Western Docks into a second ferry terminal with a new marina and four new berths.

The board said a second terminal would help create 1,000 new jobs locally and ease traffic problems, but service operations first needed to be opened up to competition, in line with European Commission objectives.

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