A 24-hour strike is well under way by a number of workers at Tilbury docks.
Forty-five employees at the Port of Tilbury’s Enterprise Distribution Centre (EDC) began action at 10pm on Monday night.
Members of the Unite union are in dispute with the port’s management over new contracts, which it claimed could lose workers about £2,500 each year.
A Port of Tilbury spokesman said the strike would have “no impact on other operations or businesses at the port”.
EDC deals with the unloading and distribution of paper reels.
Unite said this was the first strike by dockers at Tilbury since 1989.
Regional officer Jane Jeffery said there had been “complete lack of negotiation and consultation” over the new contracts.
The Port of Tilbury said it was “disappointed” the strike had been called following “detailed discussions” with the workforce.
A spokesman for the Port of Tilbury said: “The trade union, Unite, who represent some of the employees at The Port of Tilbury’s Enterprise Distribution Centre (“EDC”), have declared a dispute with The Port of Tilbury.
“Despite the Port management’s best efforts on the introduction of new voluntary, customer-focused, working practices at the EDC, the union has called for one day of industrial action commencing at 10.00pm on Monday 7th May.
“The action will be restricted to the EDC and will have no impact on other operations or businesses at the Port. Access to the main gate for The Port of Tilbury will also remain unaffected. EDC customers have been kept fully informed and are aware that there will be no impact on their operations.
“Management at The Port of Tilbury are disappointed that Unite have decided to escalate this matter in this way despite detailed discussions held with the EDC workforce.”