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Posted on 30 July 2012 at 12:50 GMT

Unite members accept Portsmouth port deal

Quay assistants at the centre of the 'new contract' dispute at Portsmouth International Port have voted to accept a deal that will see all staff moved onto the superior 'old' contract and all overtime after midnight will be worked on a voluntary basis.

In a joint statement, the employers, Portsmouth city council (PCC) and Unite, which represents the quay assistants, said: "Earlier last week negotiations between Unite the union and Portsmouth International Port resumed and a new proposal was offered to quay assistants.

"A consultative ballot has taken place amongst Unite members and the quay assistants have unanimously voted in favour of accepting the new proposal.

"This result has resolved the current difficulties and both sides look forward to working constructively in the future."

The resolution came after a unanimous ballot result in favour of strike action over the proposal to introduce inferior 'new' contracts.

Unite convenor at PCC, Richard White, said: "This victory would not have been possible without the quay assistants' determination to stand together and vote together."

Unite regional officer Ian Woodland said: "This demonstrates the importance of collective action. We had a 100% turnout on the vote for industrial action and this strong action made management reconsider its position."

The 18 quay assistants are responsible for tying up and releasing cross-channel ferries.

From a Unite press release, 30 July 2012

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