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IOM bus drivers discuss strike action

Bus drivers on the Isle of Man are meeting union leaders to discuss strikes for the next three months in a bitter dispute with government-owned Bus Vannin.

The row began after the Manx government’s Department of Community Culture and Leisure (DCCL) instructed Vannin to cut the budget by £300,000.

Drivers’ contracts were then terminated and new contracts imposed, slashing drivers’ wages by up to £3,000-a-year.

Unite is urging Vannin and the DCCL to sit down face-to-face with an independent third party chair for binding arbitration to resolve the dispute.

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.

– Bobby Morton, Unite

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.