Page last updated at 12:38 GMT, Friday, 30 January 2009

Harbour jobs outsourcing delayed

Dover strike
Industrial action was called off in December

Plans to outsource more than 100 dockside jobs at a Kent port to the private sector have been put on hold.

The Port of Dover confirmed it had delayed the transfer of mooring staff, which was set Sunday, until 1 April.

The first 68 of 190 jobs transferred from Dover Harbour Board to Group Four Security earlier this month despite workers striking last November.

There have been extensive talks between the board and the union Unite since industrial action ended late last year.

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 discussions.

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