Fifty-eight workers at Portsmouth Port are at risk of redundancy after the loss of a fruit-shipping contract. Cargo handling company MMD Shipping Services said staff were told after fruit importer Geest Line confirmed it was moving its operation to Dover.Geest Line, a customer of council-owned MMD for 16 years, said the move was prompted by a need “to accommodate revised scheduling times”.MMD director Mike Sellers said he was “incredibly disappointed”.He said there had been “no alternative” to losing the contract as it would have been “physically impossible” to meet their needs. “The proposal is to cut the workforce by 58, but we will do everything we can to mitigate job losses,” he said.’Major contracts’Mr Sellers added the company, which has 230 employees, had a “duty of care” to consult with workers over the next 30 days before any final decisions.He said MMD had other major contracts, but that they were not as “labour intensive” as the one with Geest Line.”We will still be the number one facility in the UK for fruit imports,” he added. The BBC has attempted to contact the RMT union, which has members at MMD, for comment. The union previously said it would be “disappointed” to see jobs go at the company.
Source: BBC Hampshire