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Talks to be held over port dispute

Talks are due to take place tomorrow (Thursday) between union representatives and Dover Harbour Board officials in an attempt to settle the industrial dispute at the port.

Officials from the Unite union have requested talks with the board, a move welcomed by port chief executive Bob Goldfield.

The dispute is over the board’s decision to privatise 190 mooring, trailer-handling and security jobs in the New Year. Mr Goldfield has made it clear that the decision is not open for negotiation, but he wants to discuss terms and conditions and other aspects of the transfer.

More than 300 union members at the docks have already staged two strikes, and notice has been given of a further three next week.

Each is planned to last 16 hours, starting at 3pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The port has continued to operate normally despite the strikes, and despite increases in traffic as cross-Channel Christmas shopping gets underway.

Mr Goldfield said the strikes had had no impact on ferry services.

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