BUS drivers have gone on strike today in the latest move in their dispute over changes to conditions, including the end of paid lunches.
The nationalised bus company, Bus Vannin, is locking drivers out of their workplace today once they go on strike, their union, Unite, says.
The island’s bus drivers are on strike from 7.30am to 9.30am and 3pm to 5pm have been told by bosses that they will not be letting workers return to work after strike action - triggering further disruption to bus users throughout the day.
The buses are running a Sunday service for the whole day.
Management says that’s so they’ll know where buses will be, rather than have them left wherever the drivers down tools, and so that they can operate a predictable service.
Unite national officer for passenger transport Bobby Morton said: ‘Unite has often been blamed for causing disruption on the Isle of Man but the ball is very much in Bus Vannin’s court now. Instead of letting drivers return to work following these short stoppages they have chosen to lock out its workers – bringing the buses on the island to a standstill – the blame lies squarely with Bus Vannin.’
The long-running bus dispute began last year when the government ordered cuts of £300,000 to the bus budget, resulting in drivers’ contracts being terminated and new contracts imposed.
The union says that means drivers’ take home pay will be cut by by up to £3,000 a year.