UK officers’ union, Nautilus International, has received update from the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company (IoMSP) on the current negotiations over hire and fire threats.
This re-confirmed that IoMSP will withdraw seafarers’ termination letters, following discussions facilitated by the Manx Industrial Relations Service.
Union members operating the ferries from the UK mainland to the Isle of Man voted for strike action and action short of a strike over management threats to force through contractual changes that would significantly reduce time ashore in a ballot that closed on 18th December.
From the evening of the 27th December, Nautilus members refused to work overtime, or work in positions outside of their contracted rank for the company.
On 3rd January, IoMSP was forced to introduce a contingency sailing schedule with the ropax ‘Manxman’ sailings cut to one a day for the following two weeks because of unexpected short staffing.
Nautilus said that it had maintained its willingness to discuss a resolution to the action short of strike on behalf of its members and has encouraged management to make a genuine offer that is acceptable without the threat of fire and rehire.
The union had proposed further discussions with the company starting 15th January, 2024 in Douglas, which were agreed.
Upon confirmation that notices were withdrawn by the employer, Manx Sea Transport Guernsey Limited, Nautilus members working on board IoMSP vessels will be advised to cease industrial action.
Whilst discussions continue, Nautilus said that it expected the employer to honour the status quo, whilst a negotiated position is concluded.
The union also expected the employer to abide by the Collective Bargaining Agreement and commit to arbitration should these latest talks fail to find an agreement, Nautilus said.