Bus drivers on the Isle of Man will meet Unite leaders today (9 January) to discuss new strike dates for January, February and March in a bitter dispute with government-owned Bus Vannin.
The long-running bus dispute began last year after the Manx government’s Department of Community Culture and Leisure (DCCL) instructed the employer to cut the budget for buses by £300,000, which led to the drivers’ contracts being terminated and new contracts imposed, slashing drivers’ wages by up to £3,000-a-year.
Unite is urging Bus Vannin management and the DCCL to sit down face-to-face with an independent third party chair for binding arbitration to resolve the dispute, and avoid further strike action.
Unite national officer for passenger transport, Bobby Morton, said: “It is with great sadness that plans for a new wave of strike action are being put in place today, particularly when there is a logical common sense way to end this protracted dispute.
“I appeal yet again to Nick Black, the department’s chief executive and the DCCL to refer this matter to a third party for binding arbitration. This would be the fairest way to resolve the problem and avoid triggering further disruption to the general public on the Isle of Man.”
Unite members, employed by Bus Vannin, took part in a three-day stoppage last month (Thursday, 20 December, Friday, 21 December, and Saturday, 22 December 2012) after talks broke down with the company.
For further information please contact Bobby Morton on 07799 114 236 and/or Unite communications officer Karen Viquerat on 07768 931 316.
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.