The Isle of Man will not be bullied by a TT bus strike and will not allow it to spoil this year’s festival, Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK pledged today (Thursday May 16, 2013).
Mr Bell was responding to the announcement by the Unite union of strike action by bus drivers throughout most of the TT period, from Saturday May 25 until Wednesday June 5.
The Chief Minister commented:
‘Along with the overwhelming majority of the Island’s public I am appalled by this irresponsible and selfish action by Unite, which is obviously aimed at causing maximum disruption during the busiest time of the year for the local economy. It is clearly orchestrated by the union’s leadership in the United Kingdom, in pursuit of their own militant agenda and with a complete disregard for the damage that could be inflicted on businesses and livelihoods here in the Isle of Man.’
Mr Bell continued:
‘If Unite thinks that the Isle of Man and its Government are going to give in to this kind of intimidation, it is very much mistaken. The Island will not be held to ransom and I know the Government and local community will rally round to ensure that it is very much business as usual for this year’s TT. The Department of Community, Culture and Leisure is finalising contingency plans to maintain services throughout the strike, as it has done during previous action, and it has the full support of the rest of Government.’
‘As Chief Minister of the Isle of Man I want to reassure both residents and visitors that the Government will do all it can to minimise inconvenience during this period. It takes more than a bus strike to dampen the spirit of the TT and the Manx community, and I look forward to welcoming fans for a festival that will be as good as ever.’