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Dock workers face jobs decision

PUBLISHED: 17:27 02 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:18 03 July 2010

DOCKERS in Great Yarmouth will learn tomorrow if they have a job for the future as operators of the town's port give a final decision on redundancies.

The announcement expected today follows a week of secondary consul-tation meetings between port bosses and dockers, who this week said they would fight to save their jobs.

DOCKERS in Great Yarmouth will learn tomorrow if they have a job for the future as operators of the town's port give a final decision on redundancies.

The announcement expected today follows a week of secondary consul-tation meetings between port bosses and dockers, who this week said they would fight to save their jobs.

And dockers and union representatives will take part in a protest on Thursday outside EastPort's South Quay headquarters.

Docker of 20 years Steven Drew said morale at the port continued to spiral downwards as the 11 remaining wor-kers faced the prospect of unem-

ployment - in the face of an expanding port, with the £50m outer harbour expected to be commercially operational later this year.

Mr Drew said dockers at EastPort Cargo Handling - formerly Great Yarmouth Stevedoring Company - had been offered casual work at the port.

However, he said no workers would be prepared to accept new, highly-flexible contracts that would require them to be on call 24 hours a day, seven-days-a-week.

Mr Drew said: “Morale is still very low; we are taking a beating, but we are going to hold our heads up until the last day. Effectively EastPort Cargo Handling is going to become an agency which will advertise for casual workers.”

After talks with EastPort UK, Mr Drew said the company had no assurances from the Port of Singapore - shareholders in the outer harbour project - about the labour it would use in the outer harbour.

Thursday's demonstration will be held outside the HQ at 4.30pm.

Mr Drew said: “We are hoping to get as many people there as possible from all walks of life. Anyone from Yarmouth is quite welcome.”

He added: “We want proper jobs.”

Eddie Freeman, chief executive of EastPort, said the company considered the matters confidential and would not comment.

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