October 25, 2006 12:42 ET


NORTHEN IRELAND, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 25, 2006) - Amicus members at the Strangford Ferry will participate in a one-day strike on Friday 27 October 2006 over pay.

The Strangford skippers are on a basic wage of GBP 14,000 plus allowances. The main comparator pays GBP 29,000 basic, a shortfall of around Pounds Sterling 6,000. Amicus is seeking a fair wage for their members employed on the Strangford Ferry. The skippers have a legal responsibility for the safety of the passengers and crew when sailing in one of the fastest and difficult currents at the entrance to Strangford Lough. They operate the ferry for 16 hours each day, 364 days per year and are proud of the service provided to members of the public.

Despite Strangford Ferry management acknowledging that the rates of pay, especially for skippers, fell substantially short of that paid by other companies no action has been taken to address this. Instead, a further review is being undertaken. Whilst Amicus members co-operated with this, the continued delays are a cause of extreme frustration. They believe the management team are not listening to their concerns and the publication of an interim report for the latest review seeks to incorporate a proposal that was rejected in July last year.

Steve Tweed, Amicus Regional Officer, says,

"Negotiations have been on-going for over 3 years and our members have demonstrated magnificent patience. However they now don't believe their concerns are being taken seriously and to demonstrate the strength of feeling they have, reluctantly, taken the decision to protest with a one-day strike.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused to the travelling public and to minimise any disruption Friday (27 October) has been chosen when schools will be breaking up for the Halloween holiday.

It is important that the Strangford Ferry management team focus on the matter at the heart of this dispute and stop introducing further delays into the process. This is not about the crew structure, but about introducing the findings of their own report and pay the market rate for the work being undertaken by the ferry crew."

Contact Information

  • Amicus
    Steve Tweed
    07768 931 268
    Ciaran Naidoo
    07768 931 315