Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Timetable changed in Isle of Man bus strike

Isle of Man bus strike
Image caption Bus Vannin drivers have already staged four walk-outs over the dispute with government

An emergency bus timetable will operate on Wednesday as drivers prepare for the fifth strike since last December.

They have voted for more walk outs in a long-running dispute over plans to introduce a £3,000 pay cut.

Bus Vannin drivers will stage two separate stoppages, one in the morning and one in the evening, on 3 April

A government spokesman said a Sunday timetable would operate. He added: "It is better that we provide a timetable we know we can operate."

The government said the move has been taken to avoid the risk of passengers becoming stranded when each of the strikes start.

A Unite spokesman said drivers would hold stoppages from 07:30 to 09:30 GMT and from 15:00 to 17:00.

Bus Vannin, run by the community, culture and leisure department (DCCL), has been affected by government cuts.

The department is aiming to save about £1m a year as part of the Manx government attempts to rebalance its finances.

'No progress'

A series of cost-saving measures were implemented when the UK brought an end to a VAT sharing agreement, which left a £75m-a-year hole in the island's income.

Bus Vannin drivers have staged walkouts in December, January, February and March.

DCCL Minister Graham Cregeen said: "I am surprised by the timing of this strike given that the department outlined a possible solution to the dispute on 14 March which I know has been put to the union by the Industrial Relations Officer. The only response we have had is this notice of industrial action."

But Bobby Moore, from the Unite union, said relations between his organisation and the department have taken a turn for the worse.

He added: "Not only has no further progress been made, we have actually gone backwards - I received a proposal [from the department] at the beginning of March which was brokered by the Manx Industrial Services which effectively would have ended the dispute - that offer was later withdrawn."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites