29 May 2013

Isle of Man: twelve day strike hits hard as contingency plans fail

Drivers at Bus Vannin began a 12-day strike on Saturday. They are involved in a dispute with the state-owned operator about £300,000 of cuts, and changes to drivers’ terms and conditions. For most drivers this would mean a £3,000 pay cut.
The island government's contingency plans have already failed. They tried to recruit enough scabs to keep to the normal timetable, but yesterday found this was impossible. They are now attempting to run a bank-holiday service.
The industrial action has been timed for maximum impact. It comes as the island hosts its annual TT Race (for many years this was the most prestigious motorcycle race in the world, and still plays an essential part in the island's economy).
The leader of the Liberal Party on the island, Peter Karran, has criticised Bus Vannin. He claims the dispute is a smokescreen for the government's real agenda – which is to privatise the service.

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