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Unite the Union have announced a plan for 5 days of industrial action between 22 August and 29 August. Strike dates are 22 & 23 August and 27, 28 and 29 August.
“This is a real slap in the face to the public of Jersey” Said Kevin Hart, General Manager of LibertyBus. “How Unite can justify threatening the livelihoods, health and leisure of the Island for such a length of time defies comprehension. Such militancy has no place in Island life.”
“It is simply unacceptable to hold the public hostage in this way, particularly when we have been talking with Unite in a positive manner. Unite are demanding the reinstatement of a driver who pulled away from a bus stop with an open door, which resulted in a passenger falling to the pavement and being injured whilst getting off the bus. The driver was subsequently convicted of driving without due care and attention. It would have been irresponsible of us not to taken appropriate disciplinary steps. Unites demand for reinstatement shows that Unite do not care about the travelling public who pay their members’ wages.”
Most of the LibertyBus staff agree that the safety of passengers is paramount, with only 33% of the workforce voting for industrial action. Unite however, show that they are profoundly out of touch with reality.
LibertyBus call on Unite to drop its plans for industrial action which is out of all proportion. The driver concerned is still going through due process and we are awaiting a hearing at employment tribunal. Why are Unite striking now and not waiting until due process is complete?
Unite also need to have a big think about their role in this island community. Tens of thousands of Islanders depend on the bus service to get to work, go shopping, visit friends and relatives – we are regularly contacted by elderly Islanders, concerned about being able to attend vital hospital care. Needlessly depriving the public of this service for the length of time threatened is, in our view, morally wrong.
Our focus is on making sure that services to the public of Jersey run without disruption. We would like to reassure the public that if the strike goes ahead, we will seek to minimise disruption to their lives by any practical means available to us.
We will ensure the public are regulary kept up to date with all further updates.
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