Public Bus & Ferry Service Remains Suspended

January 26, 2015

[Updated] The meeting of the BTUC membership and its subsequent march on Cabinet has lead to the the suspension of all public bus and ferry transportation services, with updates expected once the march has concluded.

The Transport Ministry said, “All public bus and ferry transportation services, inclusive of the Central Terminal bus ticket office in Hamilton, have been suspended due to the emergency union meeting at Union Square. The Department of Public Transportation apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

A large crowd gathers at Union Square this morning

massive crowd

“The Transport Control Department is still open for certain services, however they have suspended licensing and registration services until after the meeting,” the Ministry added.

“The Union Members are currently gathered at the Cabinet Office and once this march on Cabinet has concluded, the public will be updated as to the resumption of services.”

For our live blog covering today’s Union meeting please click here.

Update 2.34pm: At 2.30pm, the Transport Ministry confirmed that buses are back on the road, and added that ferries are due to start back at 3pm.

Update 9.34pm: A Transport Ministry spokesperson said, “As a result of another public service employee meeting at 9 am tomorrow morning, all public bus and ferry transportation services inclusive of the Central Terminal bus ticket office in Hamilton, will be suspended as of 8:30 am.

“The Department of Public Transportation apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. We will update the public throughout the day.”

Update Jan 27, 12.14pm: A Department of Public Transportation spokesperson said, “As a result of this morning’s Union meeting, all public bus and ferry transportation services remains suspended and the Central Terminal bus ticket office in Hamilton remains closed.

“The Department of Public Transportation apologies for the inconvenience this may cause. We will continue to keep you updated throughout the day.

“The Transport Control Department is still open for certain services however licensing and registration services are currently not available.”

Update Jan 27, 4.37pm: A spokesperson for the Departments of Public Transportation and Marine and Ports Services said, “All public bus and ferry transportation services remain suspended and the Central Terminal bus ticket office in Hamilton remains closed due to the Bermuda Trade Union Congress [BTUC] meetings and industrial action.

“At this time there is no indication that there will be bus or ferry service this evening and it is unlikely that there will be service tomorrow morning.

“The Departments of Public Transportation and Marine and Ports Services once again wishes to apologise to all public transportation passengers for the inconvenience this disruption of service is causing.”

“We will continue to provide updates regarding public transportation as we receive more information.”

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Comments (45)

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  1. Terry says:

    Same **** different day.

  2. aceboy says:

    What a farce.

    Does anyone really think for one second that all those people are having a meeting to discuss an important documents and they are able to agree and go on a march within a couple of hours?

    Don’t make me laugh. Decisions were made for these people.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      It wasn’t a meeting, the memebership weren’t even needed. Here we are being told by the union that an urgent meeting was being called to discuss with their membership what was given to them so that they could decide how to go forward.
      Here is what happened, the union leaders held a meeting with their members telling them that they were rejecting the offer from governement then lead them on a march on cabinet… so they membership walked off their job to meet at the union building, where they discussed nothing, voted on nothing and only listened to what their leaders had decided in their stead, then marched on cabinet… they were duped into a wild cat strike, a brief one, but an illegal strike none the less. Please send a bill to the BTUC for the loss of productivity and to cover the wages of the employees missed time.

      Urgent meeting to get a decision from their membership, yeah right, and the unions wonder why the public distrusts and has little respect for them. They constantly prove they don’t deserve it.

      • Dockyard Lackey says:

        I agree with the content of your observations, but you missed one thing. The BIU deserve credit for giving their members on the job training – walking the streets – because that is what most of them will be doing in the near future if this stupid, no, insane behaviour continues. These people are employed to serve their employees. Those employees are we the people, who pay taxes toward their inflated salaries. They are in effect demonstrating against themselves. You cannot get blood from a stone, so stop trying. Work hard, put in a full day and in the end you will get your reward. That is what the majority of those employed in the private sector do.

        • mixitup says:

          Let me just section off your statements for a sec.

          “These people are employed to serve their employees.”

          “Work hard, put in a full day and in the end you will get your reward.”

          Brother man, 1940 call to asked if you can return their playbook..

  3. Guest27 says:

    How did a meeting turn into a march? And what gives these “workers” the right to basically strike without notice?

    You had your meeting and you gave your Unions Leaders your answer. Now get your ***** back to work!

    • Retarded people says:

      Obviously you don’t care about the people and it’s problem obviously you are apart of the problem an not the solution so you sit back on your *** and since you aren’t being affected close your mouth and chill out because your life isn’t great

      • Guest27 says:

        You know what happens when you make assumptions?

        You have no idea how this affects me. However, I can think for myself. I don’t need my Shop Steward to think for me.

    • Island says:

      Well if we’re only “workers” instead of workers then it wasn’t a strike was it?
      If you have a non-vulgar solution please share (or continue to be an obnoxious git, whatever) and stop assuming all union members have the same beliefs.

      • Creamy says:

        Furlough day or downsize. They are the choices. It would be the same whoever the government is.
        Blame the people who spent like crazy for years on useless crap. You know who it was.

      • Guest27 says:

        Answer this. Did you see the entire CS there? Did every single CS on this island attend that rally yesterday? No you didn’t. Is it perhaps because there are many in the CS that recognize that they would rather have a Furlough Day then potentially lose their job?

  4. dam says:

    That a lot of people. The issue must be huge.

  5. B says:

    I understand meetings and what not need to happen…but really suspend everything? There were a lot of late kids this morning for spirit. Be funny if the Bermuda Police suspended all work for hours on end…I get it but I don’t get it…Why? What kills me is in summer when they do it to cruise ships…’Smart’.

  6. TSOL says:

    Fire ‘em all, lets get it over with.

    • Terry says:

      You can’t do that ‘TSOL’.

      It will cost billions of dollars in pensions and redundancy payments et al.

      Can’t throw them under the “Bus”. There would be nothing left of portions of Bermuda.

      And we sure as hell can’t afford a civil war.

    • Onion says:

      You are part of the problem.

      Try seeing other people’s point of view for once.

  7. Standing around doing nothing says:

    Not sure why services are suspended when they are just sitting around doing nothing. The same end could be achieved by a text alert once a decision has been made.

  8. kiskadee says:

    This is sounding like a wildcat strike now with the workers marching and not returning to work after the meeting. I thought that was illegal?

  9. bluebird says:

    There are 11,300 work permits issued getting close to one third of our working population.
    There are 11,300 jobs available to the GOVERMENT WORKERS.
    Fire 50% of them and that would only be 4,000 jobs and we still have 7,300 work permits available.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Nice thought but how many of those on the Government payroll would not be able to hold down a job anywhere else? Dealing with the front office people in some of the departments is bad enough. Imagine what is kept behind, out of sight, not dealing with the public.

      In election promise after election promise the PLP said that they were going to deal with the bloated civil service. Well, nothing happened. It got worse. Now there is no money to pay them.

      • NoFreeLunch says:

        50% of Bermudians didn’t apply for the jobs; meaning they didn’t want the jobs are were not qualified to do the jobs.

        I am a realistic Bermudian. I cannot be held down unless I want to be held down. I have a friend who was made redundant from Internal Business sector; she is now painting roofs, loves it and is making a living. She was not even given the opportunity of a furlough day! she is making no excuses or demands on Government just doing what she has to do.

        I myself was made redundant twice by International Business. They come and go, that is life! I was again given no choice to having a furlough day… was we are sorry, here’s the Government approved severance now see you later.

        I went out and immediately started to look for a job infact i was relentless. What I did have was a small nest egg as I didn’t spend every last cent on the best sneakers and try to compete with the Jone’s next door so was able to save $50 a week to fall back on.

        What we need to be teaching our people is how to make sacrifices and stop blaming the world for everything. Stuff happens, situations change and if you don’t have the money you don’t have it.

        Cut back on some of the staff that Government continue to have hanging around that do nothing, come and go as they like there is some real savings.

        My real concern is you have to grow Bermuda and I heard last night people at the protest saying scrap this and that. Bermuda needs to invest in big events to bring money into the Country, they need to have an updated hospital. They are damned if they do and damned it they don’t.

        I can clearly see the Island has made gains and I did not vote for this party last time. All I see is our people moaning and grumbling and it’s starting to get old.

        Sick and Tired of the same old vision. I am out with the old and in with the new and looking forward to a better day.

      • MAKE MY DAY says:

        PLP economics!!! They don’t understand economics 101…. Unless it puts $$$ in their pockets!!

  10. Terry says:

    @ Guest27.
    Same as the 50′s through the 80′s.

    Bout time Government took a stand.

    This did not happen during the reign of the PLP where a certain portion of people got the perks and wine flowed.

    • shutthemdown says:

      telling lies again.

      look at history and there were strikes and walks to the house when the PLP was in power.

      man you all cant help but lie

  11. tfs says:

    lets get it right this has been on the table since the original MOU was signed. you knew it had an end date even though there is not on e on the actual MOU. So this is not something new. should have been part of the discussion since original. it was a temporary reprieve from jobs being last 18 months ago. so the Public sector has not shrunk, cuts have not been made, posts still on the books that are not filled so bottom line is that there needs to be cuts somewhere. and it has to come from us. we need to make a decision on what is best for everyone instead of the few. so either take a pay cut and or furlough days and jobs be saved till contrition can be in place as we move to be more efficient or start now with the lost of jobs. come on people make a decision and stick to it and move forward.

  12. positivity says:

    Where is the notice for the suspension of service? This is ridiculous…….again. We pay for these services but don’t get so much as an apology when there is no way to get to work or back home. We need to stand together to let them know this is not acceptable. As long as we keep rolling over and grumbling under our breathe, nothing will change.

    • Will says:

      i guess they aren’t as stupid as we thought. The rules state 21 days notice to strike; guess they managed to get around that and have ‘meetings’ instead.

  13. james says:

    when will they learn that these [peacefull marches] do not work!

  14. Will says:

    why do all services have to be suspended? For real? WTF? why cant they send a memo around to all members after the MANAGERS and BOSSES have a talk…and then god forbid it goes to a vote perhaps each worker can vote BEFORE or AFTER work. This way the kids get a bloody education and people can get to work. DUHHHHHHH

    • MAKE MY DAY says:

      This is how the “System” works in BDA…. The Union dictates to the Gov’t – and always get-away with it!!

  15. big lad says:

    I am all for people standing for and protecting their rights.
    Unfortunately, the BIU/BUTC’s approach is one in which they seem to disregard the overall picture.
    Will people agree with your cause when children are missing school? (as if we haven’t complained about the education system enough)
    When people will struggle to get to work? (you don’t want furlough days, but yet you are almost imposing them on others, by creating a problem for people to get to work)

    I personally think a strike is not what you need to do to express your view.

    But hey, what do I know, I’m merely a university student. Come July, get my degree, maybe I’ll be better off taking what I’ve learned elsewhere……

  16. bermudaglobetrottersdotcom says:

    As many have said before, there is no NEED for these employees to be present at any such meetings. There are appointed officials who can easily report back the resolution of these “meetings”. And since it appears no resolution has been achieved, what good will come from shutting down public transport for two days?

    • MAKE MY DAY says:

      They have been allowed to get away-with-it for far too many yrs… Too late to try and change things now!!

  17. Sandgrownan says:

    Call in the loan.

    Schools closed, buses/ferries not running.

  18. cromwell says:

    Where is the Minister of Transportation?

  19. Lone Wolf says:

    What I don’t understand is … aren’t the union members interrupting their own children’s educations? I may be wrong but of all the people pictured I would think it is safe to assume that at least SOME of them have children? So in causing the schools to close down they are actually denying their OWN kids from learning.

    I mean, it is bad enough that schools get every holiday known to man, mid term breaks, extended special holiday breaks, summer vacations & weekends off. Not to mention individual sick days, sports days and special events days. Now we are giving them strike days too!

    People, you are hurting your OWN CHILDREN!

    • big lad says:

      Except those who are on a good wage and have kids in private school.
      Oh the irony right?

    • MAKE MY DAY says:

      That’s why the “public” school system is a complete disaster in BDA… A big reason I left for a more “sane” domicile!! Happily both my children are University educated now and ready to face the “real world”!!

  20. Terry says:

    These incidents over the past almost 2 years are by design.

    The BIU aka Progressive Labour Party have the upper hand.

    They know Government will back down to save what is left of Bermuda and it’s economy.

    Americas Cup is the largest investment in Bermuda’s history to an extent.

    Government puts it foot down and there will be no influx of tourists, spectators and the filling of hotel rooms, guest houses, private residents, visiting vessels et a.

    The BIU/PLP have Bermuda by the balls and have since the 60′s.

    Circumstances like this are the tools used by the evil ones still employed and retired from BIU/PLP et al.

    A picture speaks a thousand words.

    Look at one and tell me what you really see of the participants.

    The table is the place to be now.

    May God show mercy and influence some common sense to both sides.


  21. bluebird says:

    @ lone wolf
    and don’t forget all that you mentioned,the Teachers in public schools take there Vacation time when they want like when school is in.
    We have the same number of teachers in the public schools for 600 students per year as we had for 2000 students per year.
    2.5 teachers and 10 students in a class

  22. MAKE MY DAY says:

    In the “real world” these people would have been suspended, censored or possibly fired!! This is considered the same as a “wildcat strike” – which many countries have outlawed!!

    The “rules” only apply when the BIU say so…. I am thankful I no longer have to put-up with this BIU dictatorial BS!! This union still does as it pleases 50 yrs later!! Nothing is ever going to change in BDA – as that is very evident!!

  23. This whole situation is a political smoke screen by the B.I.U. and the other unions to discredit the government and create major problems for the O.B.A. There leaders are masters at getting their members to carry out there own personal agendas . This is illegal what their doing and the union members ( I am a member as well ) better start thinking for themselves and stop acting like sheep . There is going to be a final result to situation and you may not like it in the end !