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The RMT union today welcomed a significant victory in the battle to save the Isle of Man Steam Packet ferry service to the mainland as rival operator Mezeron, paying poverty wages and offering appalling working conditions, announced that it is pulling out of its attempt to take over the container route from Liverpool to Douglas.

RMT says that the defeat of Mezeron's attempts to undermine the Steam Packet should secure the future of nearly 300 jobs and sends out a clear message that those who seek to engage in a race to the bottom on pay and conditions can be defeated.

In a statement today Mezeron confirmed that their Liverpool/Douglas service will cease to operate on 19th February.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

"We always said that the Mezeron operation was an opportunist move to undermine the Isle of Man Steam Packet and today their plans have been torn apart by a union and community campaign that has forced the company to back off. This shows that aggressive companies, exploiting their workforce in a race to the bottom, can be defeated.

"RMT, our sister unions and our supporters in the community have sent out the clearest message that we will defend proper rates of pay and the highest quality of service in the UK ferry industry and that warning should be heeded by others who might be thinking of undermining our members jobs, their rates of pay and their working conditions.

"I want to pay tribute to our members at the Isle of Man Steam Packet who, along with their colleagues, have led this campaign from the front. They are a credit to the trade union movement.

"However, we will remain vigilant and are geared up and ready to go if any other threats to the Isle of Man Steam Packet, a service with nearly 200 years of history, emerge on the horizon."

Crucial victory for RMT, sister unions and local community in fight to defend Isle of Man Steam Packet

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