24 Dec 2012
Isle of Man: drivers strike for 72 hours
Bus drivers manned picket lines at depots in Douglas, Ramsey and Port Erin during a three-day strike that ended on Saturday.
Six official pickets plus a dozen or more supporters were at the entrance to the Banks Circus depot in Douglas from the early hours - and claimed they had managed to stop four or five buses crossing the picket line.
In the south, Castle Rushen High School students enjoyed the novelty of taking the steam train to school, alighting at a temporary halt specially built at School Hill.
But elsewhere there were reports that the public transport division’s contingency measures were not going quite to plan, with some students and commuters left waiting at bus stops.
Eric Holmes, regional officer of Unite, said he was ‘extremely pleased’ with the turn-out on the picket lines. He said members of the public had shown their support by offering food and sweets to drivers.
Mr Holmes described the contingency measure as ‘pathetic’. ‘If they are doing it just to make a point, they’ve failed,’ he said. ‘This just shows how vital the service is and they should not be attacking people like this, they should not be taking people’s money off them... You can’t just attack people and not expect them to fight back. People have said “enough is enough”.’