WIGHTLINK STAFF OVERWHELMINGLY VOTE IN FAVOUR OF STRIKE ACTION

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Staff at cross-Solent operator Wightlink have voted in favour of carrying out strike action.

Over 400 workers have been balloted by the RMT union as a result of the company proposing to slash workers’ pension rights and change their working conditions.

Negotiations have failed to produce an offer on pensions and terms and conditions that meet ‘the very reasonable demands of the workforce’, according to the RMT.

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Of the 418 eligible staff members of Wightlink Ltd and Wightlink (Guernsey) Ltd, a total of 304 decided to have their say. 270 voted in favour of taking strike action against 34 who said no – a majority of 88%.

As previously reported by Island Echo, the RMT has said that Wightlink’s action had been ‘particularly disgraceful’ due to the fact that at the height of the pandemic (April to September) employees loaned 20% of their salary and gave up terms and conditions for 6 months to allow the company to keep trading.

The result of ballot exceeds the legal thresholds and the National Executive Committee of the RMT is now considering this result.

UPDATE @ 13:25 – A spokesperson for Wightlink has said:

“Wightlink is consulting on a proposal which includes doubling pension contributions for more than 50% of the workforce and closing the Defined Benefit scheme to future accruals.   This proposal would avoid compulsory job losses or pay cuts, which many other companies in the sector have already made.

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“Wightlink is disappointed that members of the RMT have voted for industrial action, including the possibility of strikes, before the consultation process has completed and at a time when all businesses need to become more efficient.

“Wightlink still needs to take steps to become a financially sustainable business and will complete its consultation on pensions and other issues.

“The company continues to talk to the RMT and hopes that the union will realise that now is not the time for industrial action but instead to consult on the proposed changes which would avoid compulsory job losses or pay cuts”.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
22 Comments
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Mr Mark
Mr Mark
18 days ago

Food and fuel shortages soon then. Watch the panic buying grow even worse now, Could not have picked a more beneficial time to strike, but such a time will not win them favour with the public who are also struggling.

Best fill up now with fuel, food and toilet rolls, and join the ‘I’m all right Jack’ attitude of todays ‘oh so caring’ in a crisis.

What the fuck
What the fuck
Reply to  Mr Mark
18 days ago

They have every right and fight to strike….. treated like shit should not happen, no matter who you work for, they keep the travel going while people like you moan… they are proud to take and make a stand…..thank you all.

Mr Lee
Mr Lee
Reply to  Mr Mark
17 days ago

Encouraging panic buying?! What a guy!

Helen Highwater
Helen Highwater
18 days ago

You’d think that an employer unilaterally tinkering with existing pension arrangements would fall foul of the law, but apparently not. Greenfield is following the path set by Maxwell and Philip Green and many others less high-profile; meanwhile the Pensions Regulator sits on his hands…

freeloader
freeloader
18 days ago

nice to see the staff have voted to go on strike, whilst most are sat at home on furlough and the boats aren’t running- you couldn’t make that up

Droopy
Droopy
Reply to  freeloader
18 days ago

The staff havent started this, the company are trying to take away their pension. What other suggestion do you have? Roll over and take it?

freeloader
freeloader
Reply to  Droopy
17 days ago

they are not taking away their pension – they are closing the final salary scheme to new staff and transfering all others to defined contribution scheme – this has been happening across the country for years, there are very few final salary schemes left.

do you know how much it costs wightlink and subsequently islanders in higher ticket prices, to subsidise the final salary scheme – millions, that is how much.,

Truth
Truth
18 days ago

It’s a pity they didn’t strike last month when the island was tier one, thanks for nothing!!!….

DumDum
DumDum
Reply to  Truth
18 days ago

Agree, definitely the staffs fault for deciding what tier the island was in and who can travel…

Old bean
Old bean
18 days ago

Good on them to my company’s taking workers rights

Purple Paul
Purple Paul
18 days ago

Wightlink should be made via regulation to keep sufficient cash reserves for this type of occasion.

In normal times they make £1 million per month profit, delivered to their shareholders in dividends.
The company has been run into the ground for years and it’s loyal workforce shouldn’t suffer, so that the fat cats and profiteers running the company can continue in such a way.

Where is Bob? Perhaps he could try to get the ferries regulated?

Bone
Bone
18 days ago

They need to make changes to be sustainable company? If They can’t make a profit on the fares they charge then there is to much money going back in to the owners pockets.

Tom
Tom
18 days ago

When was the last time you heard of a bridge going on strike? Just need red funnel to follow suit and we’re screwed.

Ron
Ron
18 days ago

If they strike a i am sure that their union leaders will still receive their considerable wages.
It’s similar to the war where the infantry are used as fodder .

Beard
Beard
18 days ago

Are they joking – Wightlink still needs to take steps to become a financially sustainable business… The money they charge per crossing what a joke they should cut the fat cats bonus and not the ground workers etc who do a great job for the company… Another one the rich get richer and poor get poorer…

Tonald Drump
Tonald Drump
18 days ago

Fixed link please.

Badger
Badger
Reply to  Tonald Drump
18 days ago

Yeah build a tunnel

Tony tollbridge
Tony tollbridge
Reply to  Tonald Drump
18 days ago

Well said sir.

David Lake
David Lake
18 days ago

In 2021 it’s ludicrous that a population of over 100k has no fixed link to the mainland. We will forever be held to ransom by the ferries and at the liberty of price rises.

With hourly ferries, at times every half an hour, do you really think a fixed link with a toll would bring an influx of mainlanders over? I’d like to see the data.

Marc
Marc
18 days ago

Typical wightlink screw passengers and now screw the staff [email protected]@@

John Doe
John Doe
17 days ago

Good on them.
A lot of unscrupulous private companies are using the pandemic to attack their employees terms and conditions…British Airways and British Gas to name but a few

Last edited 17 days ago by John Doe
Keith Parlour
Keith Parlour
17 days ago

Come on ppl stop whinging, remember this, workers have lost all rights since the tories came to power, all us low paid(low skill, as they call ppl) are just the dogs of life, (there to obey) company bosses only say they care about the workers when we all know they don’t, enough profit to give them the high rise they want and don’t give a shit bout anyone below them, good on the workers for stick up for themselves

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