Unite, the UK’s largest union, has appointed Eric Holmes as the full-time regional officer for the Isle of Man, at a time when the union fears that the Manx government is set to impose mainland austerity policies on the islanders under the veil of its Scope of Government review.
Unite believes that - despite the Isle of Man being recession-free and set to enjoy six per cent growth in 2013 – the government wants to adopt a Westminster government austerity regime for the 85,000 islanders.
Eric Holmes, who has been confirmed in the job he has done since last summer, pledged to campaign against the diminution in the living standards of working people.
Eric Holmes said: “Unite represents ten per cent of the island’s working population and because of the island’s political set-up is, in effect, the main opposition to the policies of the Isle of Man Government, which is also the biggest employer.
“The island is recession-free, but this is not stopping the government, headed by Chief Minister, Allen Bell, trying to introduce the cost-cutting austerity policies that have been so disastrously followed by the coalition government in London.
“Unite will be fighting to see that the pay and employment conditions of its members, and, more generally, public services in the Isle of Man are vigorously defended.”
Unite has members amongst the island’s bus drivers, currently in dispute with the government-owned Bus Vannin; and in the NHS and across local government; and is well represented in the private sector in both engineering and finance.
Eric Holmes, who has lived on the Isle for Man for 30 years, previously worked as the DOI Douglas inner harbour master.
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
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.