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Staff go public over freight concerns

Unions representing staff at the Steam Packet Company begin a campaign today (Saturday), outlining the threat to jobs and passengers services, by fierce competition for freight.

Nautilus, the RMT and Unite will hand out leaflets at a TravelWatch meeting at the Villa Marina this morning, and to shoppers outside Tesco.

Despite assurances yesterday that no redundancies are planned in the short term, the unions remain concerned jobs could be lost, if the Packet loses more freight customers to Mezeron, which has begun a daily container service between the Island and Liverpool.

Chris Bowen represents Nautilus, the ship's officers' union (first part of audio file):

Meanwhile, the Steam Packet has apologised to Shoprite for questioning the firm's commitment to the Manx economy.

Bosses at the supermarket chain objected strongly to comments in the local press by Packet chief executive Mark Woodward, over Shoprite's decision to use the freight container service operated by its rival, Mezeron.

Shoprite CEO Andrew Thomas says its hauliers use both Mezeron and the Steam Packet (second part of audio file):

Clip 1

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