Nearly 600 Liverpool port workers are to strike for seven days next month in a dispute over pay, Unite has announced.

The industrial action will take place from October 11 and end on October 17.

As well as port operatives and engineers, who began two weeks of strikes on September 19, senior control room operators and control room operators have now voted to join.

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Unite added that the port’s dock masters, shift managers and vessel traffic services officers are also preparing to be balloted for strike action.

Unite said its members are angry at MDHC’s pay offer of around 8.3%. It said that with the real rate of inflation, RPI, at 12.3% this is a pay cut.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: "The anger amongst MDHC’s staff at the greed of this hugely profitable firm and its billionaire owner John Whittaker reaches from one end of the company to the other.

"Our members will not back down and neither will Unite. MDHC needs to keep its previous pay promises and put forward a proper pay rise now."

Unite national coordinator for free ports Steven Gerrard added: "The disruption caused to the port of Liverpool and the supply lines that depend on it is entirely the fault of MDHC and Peel Ports.

"If even more staff walk out over the company’s insufficient pay offer, the entire port will literally become inoperable. The company can afford to put forward an offer our members can accept and must do so."

A Peel Ports spokesperson said: "We have offered a very significant 8.3% pay package, and a £750 one off-payment, which would ensure the staff involved are among the best-paid in the industry, so it’s disappointing that further, damaging strike action has been scheduled.

"We can assure all our non-container customers that their port operations will continue as normal during this period."

The news comes after Peel Ports warned the on-going strike action at the Port of Liverpool could "act as a deterrent to investors looking to create jobs in the city region".