Scores of bus drivers on the Isle of Man will vote on strike action after the Manx government told them to take a £3,000 pay cut or find a new job.
State-owned Bus Vannin has been told to slash its budget by £300,000 - despite the self-governing island enjoying recession-free 4 per cent growth.
But the 100 drivers - on a basic salary of £24,300 that can be boosted by overtime - are refusing to accept wage cuts.
Bosses have given staff 90 days, or just two weeks for employees who have been with the firm for less than two years, to sign the new contract or have their jobs terminated.
Drivers' union Unite national transport officer Bobby Morton said: "The Manx government is intent on aggressively salami slicing the terms and conditions of our members."
He said Unite's offer of binding independent arbitration had been rejected "out-of-hand by the intransigent employers."
Bus drivers have rejected the pay cut in three successive ballots.
Mr Morton said it was "unfair" that drivers were being targeted for cuts while the Department of Community, Culture and Leisure - the "puppeteer" of the plans - had recently given its own workers a rise.
Unite said it would announce the timetable for the ballot at a later date.