On Air Mannin Line Andy Wint | Noon - 1:00pm

Bus ballot on strike action from Wed

Bus drivers on the Island are to be balloted for strike action this week.

It's the latest move in an ongoing dispute with government over their decision to cease paid lunch breaks, with claims drivers will face a £3,000 pay cut as a result.

The driver's union Unite blames the government owned Bus Vannin for the dispute reaching this stage. It says it has to make savings and drivers are no longer required to work their lunchbreaks.

The ballot will open on Wednesday (November 28) when around 100 drivers will be asked if they wish to take strike action over increased driving time and the reduction of contractual hours from 42 to 37.

Unite national officer for passenger transport, Bobby Morton says: 'The employer’s continual intransigence is responsible for this dispute getting to the stage where we are balloting our members.'

He adds the union has 'bent over backwards' to achieve a fair and equitable settlement and has again offered to go to binding arbitration with an independent third party chair but has been met with a 'wall of silence'.

Bus Vannin has issued contractual notice of up to a maximum 90-days notice of termination of employment and a minimum of two weeks - which ended in late October - to sign the new contract or have their jobs terminated.

The union claims the basic salary of drivers is about £24,300, but can be boosted with overtime.

The ballot closes on Wednesday, December 12.

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