RED Funnel staff have voted to strike - and it could take place over the busy summer holidays.

Unite the Union members represent 20 per cent of Red Funnel employees.

They must give two weeks' notice of any action, and Red Funnel has confirmed bookings up to July 19 will not be impacted.

Fran Collins, chief executive of Red Funnel, expressed her disappointment today.

The negotiation is in relation to 2022 pay.

Red Funnel says it was "keen to implement this uplift" in January 2022, after trying to initiate discussions with Unite in October 2021. 

Unite the Union did not present its initial 16 per cent pay claim until December 2021 and discussions have been ongoing since then. 

Red Funnel says the pay claim should have been settled for the start of 2022, so while it is "sympathetic" to inflation levels, it says they are not relevant to the pay claim. 

Red Funnel has offered 6.3 per cent for roles within the collective bargaining unit, and 4.5 per cent for all other roles, which it says is above many recent pay settlements within the same sector.  

Ms Collins said: “I am incredibly disappointed that members have voted for strike action. Our priority, as always, is to ensure that the Island remains connected and that we continue to provide the lifeline services that so many rely upon. 

“We have prepared robust contingency plans to ensure essential services are maintained and to minimise disruption as far as possible.

"We will issue a revised timetable by Tuesday, July 12, and we will contact all customer directly affected by any changes. We can confirm that customers with bookings between July 5 to 19 will not be affected by industrial action.

“We are keen to recognise and reward all colleagues, particularly during these uncertain times, however we must be realistic in terms of what the business can afford to ensure we continue to provide lifeline services for our customers, promoting the long-term success of the Island economy.” 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham previously said: “Red Funnel’s treatment of this workforce is a disgrace.

“These workers put themselves and their families at risk during the pandemic to keep the ferry services operating, so food and essentials could reach the IW.

“This is no way to repay them.”