Video: Staff Withdraw Labour At L.F. Wade Airport

June 9, 2016

[Updating] There is situation developing at the L.F. Wade International Airport today [June 9] with some workers seen gathering outside this afternoon, and unofficial reports suggest that some of the airport workers employed by Menzies Aviation have downed tools. We are awaiting official confirmation of what exactly is transpiring and will update as able.

Update 1.33pm:
A Union representative confirms the labour action and is now addressing the media, we will post the video of that as soon as able.

Update 2.21pm: A Government spokesperson said, “The Ministry of Tourism, Transport and Municipalities has been advised that representatives from the Bermuda Industrial Union and Menzies Aviation will be meeting to discuss a dispute involving a group of ramp workers at the L.F. Wade International Airport.

“Menzies Aviation is a private company contracted by airlines to provide ground handling services. It is understood that some of the Menzies employees temporarily withdrew their labour in the dispute over ongoing negotiations surrounding a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

“The Ministry has been advised that Menzies still has a sufficient number of workers and management processing flights as per normal.There has been no disruption or delays to scheduled flights as a result of the action.”

Update 2.49pm: 6-minute video of the press briefing held at the airport this afternoon

Speaking today George Scott said, “We have reached an impasse with our negotiations in our first round of talks with the new company on the block, which is Menzies Bermuda Ltd,” adding that they are “deadlocked” on the work hours, overtime and wages.

When asked how many workers took action today, Mr Scott said 36, with someone else adding that it may be more.

According to an update on their website posted in February 2016, Menzies Aviation acquired Renaissance Aviation Ltd, the Bermuda-based Ground Handling agent, with effect from 9 February 2016.

The website said, “In conjunction with this acquisition the business, now known as Menzies Aviation Bermuda Ltd, has been appointed by the Government of Bermuda as the sole licensed provider of ground handling and line maintenance services at the country’s LF Wade International Airport, for a period of 5 years.”

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Comments (59)

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  1. Family Man says:

    They have a collective bargaining agreement right?

    What are the clauses governing work place disputes.

    Oh, never mind, the union doesn’t have to read that part of the agreement, that’s only for employers. I guess they figure bus drivers get the day off, they should too.

    • So when people protest in U.S and Europe its justified.
      Mmmmmm

      • serengeti says:

        Depends whether they stick to their 21 day strike notice, if they have one.

      • aceboy says:

        So everyone should play by a set of rules except the BIU?

    • smh says:

      Idiot the union gave them their notice…they didn’t take heed so workers downed tools.

      • Frank says:

        Where do you read that in the article that they gave them there 21 days notice?

        • Pride says:

          36 people walk off the job and the job still gets done?

          Looks like this company could save quite a lot of money by cutting unnecessary personnel.

    • Shut de whole F!@#ing island down !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Thinker says:

    Watch the hate-filled comments start

  3. San George says:

    I will be there later today. Easy or hard – your choice. It’s gett’in hot too!

  4. Guy Smiley says:

    What ever happens if the employers “down pay-cheques”? Hey, contracts don’t mean anything right?

    • High Road says:

      T o be fair shouldnt one wait until an official statement is released before making comments?

      • Real Deal says:

        They don’t care about official statements they are the ones that would use the whips with no questions asked.

  5. Terry says:

    “downed tools “.
    Looking at the photo’s and the grass and weeds it looks like this happened a long time ago.

    Menzies?
    Nah dee Moniz’s vood nawah leeve dee place lyke diz………

    • smh says:

      They don’t cut grass dreamer…the service aircraft!

  6. Winton H says:

    Fire them! Bring in workers who like there jobs and show up! Criminals need not apply!

    • Hurricane says:

      @ Winton H, I don’t in any way see the BIU as being perfect, but thankfully there are unions to protect from the likes of you.

    • smh says:

      Winston H is a Idiot making idiotic comments

    • Ya do that and see what happens.

    • Swamp Dog says:

      agree with you, as it just highlights there are those that just DONT want to work for an honest dollar. By the way to access the ramp you are supposedly VETTED with a complete police check. And Hurricane take your union and You can guess what to do with it

  7. High Road says:

    Furthermore keep in mind that an airfield is a very harsh environment to work in especially in summer.

  8. Had Enough says:

    who or what is Menzies

    • Yes says:

      Foreign company that took over Renaissance Aviation.

    • smh says:

      Read the article n find out!!!

    • Bermy says:

      A global ground handling and airport/airline service provider. They brought the operation from Renaissance Aviation.

  9. Family Man says:

    “…Menzies still has a sufficient number of workers and management processing flights as per normal.There has been no disruption or delays to scheduled flights as a result of the action.”

    So these are just surplus employees collecting a paycheck then. If you can operate without them, there’s no need to keep them on the payroll.

    • Micro says:

      Essentially.

    • Someone says:

      The “sufficient” amount of employees where the paper pushers who sit up in the cool offices watching us in the heat. For 1 day they felt what we feel on a daily basis. So know your facts before you make dumb comments

      • PhD. says:

        Regardless, the job got done WITHOUT YOU! Says something about the security of your job doesn’t it? Keep striking. Let me know how that turns out for you.

  10. swing voter says:

    21 day strike notice ….. stick to the deal fellas

    • Frank says:

      No one should be able to take parts of a contract that they like and disregard the rest.This is a illegal walk out yes? Why?

  11. Rhonnda O says:

    My only thought is that it doesn’t seem a very wise tactic to down tools during a contract negotiation

    • format says:

      Doesn’t bode when when Menzies’ contract comes up for renewal. If Government see that the company cannot be relied upon, those bies will be out of a job.

    • bluwater says:

      Especially when it seems things will continue on fine without you.

  12. Yes says:

    STAND STRONG BERMUDIANS.

  13. jt says:

    They are negotiating a new CBA. Does this mean the old one has expired? If so there may be no obligation to provide notice of a strike. Ahh, but what of the employer’s obligations with no CBA? Careful now.

  14. bluwater says:

    Well, I support them. If they’re not happy, they can just go work for the other airport.

  15. BermudaLov says:

    This island is too full of uneducated people. I’m afraid every time I have to go to that airport. Hoping and praying the roof don’t fall on my head before my plane is ready

    • Bermy says:

      Your statement sounds uneducated, these workers do not work “for” the airport, merely at it and for a private contractor.

    • Verly says:

      Hoping and praying the roof ‘don’t’ fall on your head? And the island is too full of uneducated people?

  16. Expat says:

    Cancelling bus routes, potentially delaying flights, way to keep the Bermuda economy running, but stay hypocritical about not accepting foreigners.

    I felt the hate first hand for no reason, so don’t tell me it’s not real until you have felt it. I went back to “my country” as locals told me to do.

    15 years ago, Bermuda was such a wonderful place.

    • Terry says:

      Bull$#!t spin on your part.

    • Smh says:

      “I felt the hate first hand for no reason, so don’t tell me it’s not real until you have felt it. ”

      There’s a community of Bermudians who could say the SAME THING.

  17. Miguelito says:

    Sounds to me like de workers are getting greedy, but then, I don’t work there. Get back to work, folks, or move over and let someone in there who wants to work.

    • Expat says:

      I love that beautiful island. Bus and airport issues are an avoidable joke in the peak tourist season. Obviously you haven’t felt the hate. So many consumers are choosing other locations to spend their money.

    • Yahdumb says:

      you should have stopped at “But then, i don’t work there.” don’t comment on situations you OBVIOUSLY know NOTHING about.

  18. Busted says:

    This is an example of the things that will go wrong when contracts are not done in the light of day. The airport seems to get away with this all the time. It allows these so called no-bid acquisitions and ignore the workers and their needs – until it falls apart. Another non-transparent deal was done with Cedar Aviation and SERCO was recently given the boot. All this right before a $250 million redevelopment. Something stinks at Freddy Wade.

  19. San George says:

    It’s expensive to live here mate – 20% increase in electricity on the way. What about wages. Companies can’t afford it and we can’t afford to pay anymore. Excellent environment to be discussing new hotels and investment. The Arc always points towards justice.

  20. Micro says:

    Should give them raises based solely on their performance. Willing to bet very few would get one…

    • I am sailing says:

      I agree. Its quicker to come here from new York sometimes then it is getting luggage..

  21. the Ridiculist says:

    Stand for something workers. MANY ARE commenting on what they do not know. Menzies has come in at the airport making a whole lot of promises until they got their feet wet and now the nasty has come our. …Keep Strong. .

  22. Unfortunately many Bermudians would rather “strike” and get No wages as oppose to doing what’s right…Sad yes but true :-(

  23. Coffee says:

    Pay dam folks duh money !

  24. swing voter says:

    the biggest problem with foreign take overs is the perception that they can make a quick return on investment buy low balling employees. very frustrating mindset. on the flip side why are these guys not calling in labor relations to arbitrate this impasse. how does it help to withdraw labor when the process is incomplete

  25. Worker says:

    First of all I’m one of the workers 2nd would you work rain blow or shine for 500 after 2 weeks! If you know nothing keep your mouth shut!!! And that was alllll I repeat allll of their most important and experienced employers! That was a cheeky comment they made about having enough workers they only had management and supervisors! They have had 6 months to reach a fair agreement with the union and ourselves but enough is enough!!! Stand for something or fall for anything!!

  26. Point boy says:

    I haven’t read any comments yet. I don’t get Somme people. Bitch about you can’t get a job! Then you got one (good job with benefits too) and still bitching.

    Greedy kill piggy.

    Just saying