Ferry Service Resumes After Staff Down Tools

November 1, 2016

The Department of Marine and Ports is “back to normal after staff briefly downed tools this morning, interrupting the ferry service in a dispute involving temporary workers,” the Ministry has confirmed.

In response to Bernews queries as to why the ferry service was suspended this morning, the Ministry said, “The Department of Marine and Ports is back to normal after staff briefly downed tools this morning, interrupting the ferry service in a dispute involving temporary workers.

“The temporary staff were hired for the summer through to the end of October but the department has sought to keep them on.

“The disagreement was related to conditions of employment, going forward, the subject of ongoing talks between the Government and the Bermuda Industrial Union.”

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Comments (39)

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  1. sandgrownan says:

    Are CURB going to pontificate on this one?

    • Unbelievable says:

      CURB picks and chooses what they comment on – and normally it’s anything that goes against the OBA.

      • Public Transit workers are on strike in Philidelphia as we speak, and guess what? They have strikes in UK, France and Canada too. But in Bermuda we’re supposed to be nice polite people and be on our best behaviour.

        • Cynic says:

          Subtle difference is that all those strikes are legal ones, done through the Unions. In Bermuda, you just do what you want. Why bother having shop stewards and union negotiators if you’re just going to walk out every time someone uses someone else’s coffee mug.

          Stick by the rules and you will (likely) get public support, break them and you’re on your own. It’s so simple it’s obvious.

          • Toodle-oo says:

            Why bother engaging with someone who doesn’t like ‘rules’ or his version of law and order ?
            It’s so terribly oppressive here but he refuses to move somewhere else . Somewhere he can be ‘free’

          • Well if de employers didnt change de rules in de middle of de game then we woulde have this, if you want me to believe that ALL Industrial action is 100% Workers and UNION faults and there has never been ANY consultation or dialouge between Unions ans employers, then I have a bridge to sell you.

          • jt says:

            No consequences so no incentive to act any differently.

  2. Northshore says:

    Privatize now please!!

    • Privatize = Regan, Thatcher and Trump.

      • Derek W says:

        Just give notice.
        When public transport grinds to a halt, it is some of the poorest and most vulnerable that are affected.

        • PBanks says:

          Why do so many people disagree on going through the proper channels and at least announcing a strike in advance?

      • aceboy says:

        …and PLP. Our *Emission control” is now in private hands. You cannot get your bike licensed without that company being paid.

  3. Scandalous says:

    Privatization would be the best thing for BDA transport system…

    • Bermy says:

      Even if they privatize the workers would have the right to form a union. So unless you’re advocating removing rights to unionize privatization won’t prevent industrial action.

      • Cynic says:

        This wasn’t union action, this was effectively a wildcat strike. Warn them verbally strike one, warm them in writing, strike 2, sack them – strike 3.

        We’re now around strike 76 and still they get away with it.

      • Family Man says:

        Privatisation would allow it to be run more efficiently for the benefit of the customers, not just for the convenience of the staff.

        See the example of recyclable collections vs government run trash collections.
        See private school results vs government run public school results.

        • wondering says:

          the fearmongers always think no worker’s rights. we have a union system that is supplemented by the employment act 2000 but the union pundits and punters wish to maintain an undereducated (in the union context) populous that is apt to shepherd/flock mentality with very little free thinking encouraged but more of a confrontational environment when there is a dialogue to be had……ask the union members who were, at one point, locked in a meeting in order to garauntee votes for/against a certain issue…..

          • wahoo says:

            Privatization would lessen the use of labor to disrupt government based upon political differences.

  4. jt says:

    Temporary workers are an issue. Stay with me here…..

    • Family Man says:

      Why? Because they cut down on overtime for the ‘regular’ workers at double pay? Because they work harder?

  5. lizard says:

    If they privatize this lazy lot would just join the union. Same “boat”.
    Strike whenever they please.

  6. Rada Gast says:

    The temporary workers were not drinking enough tonic wine during their shifts?

  7. serengeti says:

    So what happened to the agreement about giving notice and attempting talks prior to striking?

    • This is de only language they understand, stop work and they pay attention. Thats why Privatized workers are treated like S!@#.

      • Noncents says:

        @ Onion Juice

        you are something else.

        Rules exist for a reason, without them its chaos. Unions have rules about striking, just like Bermuda has rules about immigration. Choosing to disobey rules because it is convenient does not make you a martyr or a hero, it makes you a sociopath and a punk

  8. Broken Glass says:

    Work or be Fired,plenty without work that can do their job and better!

    • Working without benefits is worthless, thats what this is about.
      African Slaves worked for 400 years and your point is, its more then just, be glad your working.

  9. Bobby J says:

    You do know that when the 2 ferrys are brought in by Royal Caribbean, the BIU will have an island wide transport strike. Just as the Americas Cup starts. BIU and PLP want to bring down Bermuda so they can have power. AND they know that if Americas Cup is a success they will not win the next election.

  10. Common Sense says:

    If the BIU/PLP sabotage the America’s Cup everyone in Bermuda will know what they have done and why. This would also cause them to lose a huge amount of support.

    • wahoo says:

      Please let’s leave America’s Cup out of this. All of Bermuda knows that AC can only be good for Bermuda and Bermudians. The root of this mini strike is little to do with the big picture.

      • Cynic says:

        “All of Bermuda knows that AC can only be good for Bermuda and Bermudians”.

        Maybe – but that won’t stop people saying it’s bad if that’s what suits their argument

  11. mmm says:

    A number of seasonal workers, whose contracts came to an end at the end of October, 2016 were about to be given an additional 30 days…and there appeared to be some concern about their conditions of employment and likely impact on the full time workers…thus a meeting of the full time workers was called. Following certain talks the Government rescinded those extended contracts. If a 21 day notice must be given, if this is correctly termed a strike, the effect of a strike would be of little consequence if only a few days remained on a 30 day contract, and this type of activity could be done over and over by many employers…as I said earlier. if the actions of the workers are correctly termed a strike. Sometimes you have to look at your own job situation to see whether or not waiting 21 days to down tools would make your employer check his own behaviour towards you and your co-workers. i.e. Tractor trailer drivers must have rest stops after being on the road a number of hours…you can see the likely danger if they don,t to many lives Flight crews on a plane must rest, they cannot simply fly, fly, fly. Our own bus drivers must rest periods. Until we know the very specific details of the extended contracts offered to the seasonal workers, we can,t say much more. I don,t think it has anything to do with America,s Cup.

    • PBanks says:

      Appreciate the commentary here that suggests a 21-day notice of strike action may not have been the best option in this circumstance. That said, it’s regrettable that it seems that in all other circumstances where notice of strike is applicable, certain groups choose instead to take the ‘emergency meeting’ route, thus inconveniencing users of public transportation, etc.

  12. mmm says:

    Did the Government err ? Did the Government give in to pressure ? It is quite expensive to catch taxis, what few taxis are available at this time of the year. I recall, bus drivers had a meeting of all drivers, after most working people and school children had been given opportunity to reach their destinations. I don,t think that was called a strike, and this happen during the usual 9 to 5 work day.

  13. mmm says:

    It was noted a few months ago, that the management of Stevedoring Services were proactive, and met with the dock workers regularly achieving an atmosphere of good labour relations.