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IOMSPCo: industrial action to begin from 27 December

19 December 2023

Nautilus International has today announced that ferry officers at Isle of Man Steam Packet Company (IOMSPCo) will take continuous action short of strike. The action will take effect from 18:00 hrs on 27 December 2023. 

Members indicated resounding support for industrial action with 89% of those participating in the ballot voting yes to action short of strike, 81% voting for strike action, and a 77% turnout.  

Ships’ officers employed by IOMSPCo delivering lifeline ferry services to the Isle of Man will not work any overtime, nor ‘work up’ to cover senior roles onboard. They will work in full compliance with all safety guidelines and policies ensuring the safety of people, the safety of the vessel, and the safety of the environment at all times. 

The action comes as the next step in the dispute over fundamental changes to their contracts of employment relating to live aboard arrangements, the company’s threat of fire and rehire, and refusal to engage in independent arbitration. 

The action will likely impact passenger and freight ferry services to the island between Christmas and New Year and will continue indefinitely into 2024.

Nautilus senior national secretary Garry Elliot said: 'Steam Packet could have avoided disruption by withdrawing its threat of fire and rehire and committing to meaningful negotiations or independent collective arbitration. 

'It has consistently refused these reasonable measures to find a solution.  

'Our members at Steam Packet do not want to take industrial action, but when the company have undermined the long-held collective bargaining agreement and threatened our members' jobs, they are left with no choice. 

'It is shameful that the Manx public will now pay the price for management's stubbornness. We remain willing to find an amicable solution to avoid disruption but only if the threat of fire and rehire is rescinded and existing contracts of employment are honoured.'