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Dai Powell's Blog Part 4 - What it all means: One hundred thousand stories

First of all, the fact that the people of Jersey will not be subject to unnecessary strike action over the coming days is extremely welcome. This has to be good news for the public and for tourism in Jersey.

Over the past several weeks, I have been genuinely moved by the support shown to us by the public of Jersey, asking us not to back down. We haven’t. I sincerely believe that the resolve shown by Islanders in the face of Unite’s tactics has been a significant factor in the Union withdrawing its strike plan.

This could all so easily have been avoided. Our position has always been that we would respect the outcome of the Tribunal process, we have said this again and again and again - see my blog from back on the 15th of August.

Even though there will be no strike this week and next, Unite’s actions have still hurt our community. Many have been anxious about how they will get to work; others have worried how to get to vital healthcare appointments; some Islanders have gone to the expense of hiring cars or booking taxis, visitors have had to revise their plans for their holiday; even those who do not use the bus service have had to plan around increased traffic and issues with parking. There are one hundred thousand stories of how this unnecessary strike threat has affected the lives of Islanders and visitors alike. Unite has shown a casual disregard for the people of Jersey and they need to think again.

What the union needs to do next is to stop using the threat of strike as the action of first resort; the people of Jersey and Liberty Bus will not be bullied. The Union needs to get around the table and agree with Liberty Bus what is in a recognition agreement and what is not, they need to allow LibertyBus to manage the service in the interest of all the people in Jersey and they need to want to be a constructive part of the future of the bus service.

We have some fantastic drivers, and to the close to 40 drivers who said they would drive and not be intimidated; I personally thank you, that is something you should be proud of. In the event of any future action, we will always run some service – it is what our drivers want.

Going forward, we need to all work together, as a team, show commitment to great customer service and growing passenger numbers, as at the end of the day it is the passengers that pay our wages! We need to put behind us some of the behaviours and attitudes of the past and work towards a harmonious future where all stakeholders are valued and we are all proud of what we deliver. I'll post some more on what this might look like a little later on.


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