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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 September 2009

RMT action: Bus workers strike for pay rise

Vectis bus workers in Newport and Ryde (IOW) took strike action on 3 September over pay. Their picket was well supported with Vestas RMT members joining in in solidarity. RMT branch secretary Keith Murphy spoke to The Socialist: "We were expecting a meeting with management back in March to discuss pay. Talks were not started for a couple of months. At the first meeting the union asked for an increase, but not the 15% claimed in the local press!

"The company said they could not afford it even though they made a 2 million profit in the first quarter of this year. No offer was made and an RMT meeting agreed to ballot for industrial action. No talks with management took place and the decision was taken to strike. Management continue to refuse talks but have sent out texts and three letters to staff calling on them to come to work. We will be meeting again this week and have action planned again for this Friday and Saturday."

Vectis enjoy a monopoly on the island and take every advantage, fleecing passengers and holding down workers' pay. There will be two more strike days on 11 and 12 September.

Send messages of support to: newportiow2@rmt.org.uk

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