Page last updated at 19:37 GMT, Monday, 5 January 2009

Port jobs move to private sector

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

The first wave of jobs at a Kent port have transferred to the private sector despite workers striking in protest at the move last November.

A Port of Dover spokeswoman said about 68 jobs were outsourced on Monday out of a planned 190.

Those transferred to private firm G4S included security and detention centre staff, and pass office staff.

The transfer of the remaining 122 jobs are the subject of talks between the Unite union and Dover Harbour Board.

The mooring staff posts are due to be transferred on 1 February.

'Pointless strikes'

Several hundred port workers staged two sets of strikes in November in protest at plans to transfer the jobs to the private sector.

Unite had said its members would suffer worse pay, hours and conditions of employment, and lose pension protection if jobs were transferred.

However, Dover Harbour Board chief executive Bob Goldfield described the strikes as pointless.

A third strike planned for December was called off following "useful discussions".

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