The Isle of Man Steam Packet has responded to the union Nautilus International's intention to ballot for industrial action over a continued row over live on board conditions for its members of staff.

The response reads: 'The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company notes with disappointment the notice served by the Nautilus union. The Company has made a generous offer to the officers represented by the Union and this remains on the table.

'It is especially disappointing that this move comes after a period of positive engagement with Nautilus and which appeared to be on the verge of a resolution of all outstanding issues.

'Throughout the negotiations, the Company has made clear that officers with circumstances requiring them to be at home on a daily basis will be accommodated as far as possible. However, the future business model – of which the significant investment in Manxman is part - requires live on board as a fundamental requirement of future contractual employment.

'The Company urges Nautilus to return to the table and to negotiate a solution rather than threatening disruption of lifeline services that will affect the whole of the entire Isle of Man.'

The statement released by Nautilus earlier today read: 'Nautilus International, the union representing officers at Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, has today served the required notice to the company that it will proceed with an industrial action ballot.

 'The ballot comes as Steam Packet threatened Nautilus members with the possibility of fire and rehire if they refused to accept fundamental changes to their terms and conditions over the company’s insistence that employees ‘live aboard’. The company have also failed to engage with the union in seeking arbitration in accordance with its obligations under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.'

You can read more about Nautilus' earlier statement here.