BIU On Trucks, Trash, Worker Concerns & More

July 28, 2021 | 12 Comments

15 to 20 trucks are needed to collect the trash “yet they continue to work with about 6 to 8 trucks” and the “public continue to place things in the trash that they know should not be placed in the trash” such as paint, medical waste, and dog waste, are two of the concerns that Sanitation Workers have.

This was explained by the BIU, and follows after there have been ongoing delays in garbage collection due to industrial action over the past few days.

A BIU spokesperson said, “The Sanitation Workers that are hired to collect the trash fall under the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Bermuda Government and the Bermuda Industrial Union. Article 1 Purpose of the CBA says ‘to achieve the highest level of efficiency in work and production which is consistent with safety and good health.’

“The Sanitation Workers are classified as Essential Service workers under the Trade Union and Labour Relations [Consolidation] Act 2021 Schedule 3 Essential Services [3]. I would advise Bermudians, who are criticizing the workers for not collecting the trash last Friday; that they should be asking why are the workers not given the equipment that they need to do their job as essential service workers.

“The Bermuda Industrial Union would like to inform the general public that there are a number of concerns that have all been documented over the last 10 to 15 years that have remained unsolved.

  • 1. The number of trucks that are needed to collect the trash is between 15 to 20 trucks but yet they continue to work with about 6 to 8 trucks.
  • 2. The general public continue to place things in the trash that they know should not be placed in the trash, paint, medical waste, dog waste, etc.
  • 3. There is no regular maintenance schedule for the trucks. Several years ago Wednesdays was designated as the day for maintenance.
  • 4. There should be a team of mechanics working on the trucks.
  • 5. There are a number of Health & Safety concerns with the trucks that have been brought to the attention of management.

“These are very real issues that have not been addressed for workers that are considered as essential services workers under the law, but their issues are not treated as essential. The workers are being very frank when they say that we have had meetings with Ministers and Permanent Secretaries under different Governments, but somehow their issues remain unresolved and they are frustrated that things are not getting better.

“The workers at Marsh Folly and so many others as essential services workers have worked through the pandemic to make sure that the people of Bermuda were kept safe. When Bermuda was on lock-down your trash was still being collected. Please remember that all of our essential service workers also have families that they had to leave at home during the lock downs so that they could take care of the people of Bermuda.”

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Comments (12)

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  1. Dejavu says:

    Privatize trash collection immediately because this is ridiculous. I’ve never ever heard of these complaints by trash collectors in any other country. For some reason they think trash collection should be a glamorous and clean job lol. The taxes aren’t going to anything they are supposed to so why exactly are we paying taxes?

  2. Wahoo says:

    To some extent I can sympathize but you cannot let the people of Bermuda suffer like this. Ultimately it sounds like you are not getting what you want or need from the Finance minister or W&E are not passing along the budgeted $$$ to the relevant departments. This is a government that you voted in despite their passed failings to manage the finances of Bermuda. It is what you wanted so suck it up. The taxpayer is doing their best please do not make us suffer for the failings of your government.

  3. Ok but that’s your job! says:

    What am I missing? Whether there are 10 trucks or 100 trucks and whether some people obey trash contents or not your job is to collect the f***** trash! Do your job!

  4. MADDOG says:

    I understand the issues thank you for sharing – sounds like similar issues with the buses….see a trend here? but can someone just tell us now if you are planning on picking up this week or not – otherwise the trash will be there on the roadside through the holiday… creating a hot smelly mess…

  5. Why Me says:

    Why do they need 15-20 trucks? Did Bermuda sudden expand and nobody said anything? Time to put it out to private contractors. Most of my US friends have their trash collected once a week, even in the states down south which are hotter & as humid as Bermuda. They have no health issues holding their trash for a week.

  6. Question says:

    Everyone can see through it. The usual excuses for lousy service, paid for by us.

  7. Ian says:

    Hmmm, but I am with them on the paint and dog poo grievances – what kind of a hole puts those in their black bags for the trash guys to collect?. One particular “cat lady” with 90+ cats in her house thought it was fine to put bags out basically containing cat litter and poo and was most put out that they might not want to.

  8. Stumped says:

    This is hilarious all studies say they dont need 15 trucks if you research the tonnage each day and truck capacity. The management of collections staff is appauling laced witj bullying intimidation and manager scared.on top of that the blame game is rampant and no accountability its all a joke.

  9. conspiracytheory says:

    20 trash trucks? There’s not that many buses on roads! Time to privatise this service!

  10. Joe Bloggs says:

    “The Bermuda Industrial Union would like to inform the general public that there are a number of concerns that have all been documented over the last 10 to 15 years that have remained unsolved.”

    Ok, and who formed the Government 10 years ago, in 2011?

    And who formed the Government 15 years ago, in 2006?

    And how many collective bargaining agreements has the BIU entered into with the Government of Bermuda during the last 15 years?

    And will the PLP Government pay these striking essential workers double or triple time collect trash over the Cup Match holiday when they refused to do their jobs for straight time immediately before the holiday?

  11. Birdlegs says:

    Aren’t the mechanics responsible for maintaining the trucks union members? Maybe the union should have a good soul search.

  12. Marine Life says:

    20 trash Trucks has been the normal for many years, that is how the Island is broken up by Zones, in order to get all the trash picked up in an orderly and timely fashion. The problems go way beyond the workers. Management and accounting is what is holding this Island hostage, and on these levels, it is the Gov’t allowing the Superiors to get off easy with no Accountability. You privatize this and you will pay dearly by contracting this out , because it will take a lot more money in contractual agreements!
    When the Power goes off, the Minister gets on Belco’s But and Demands Explanations and Remediation. The Minister needs to do the same with these essential Sevices, starting with Critiquing the Heads of these Departments. But, that won’t happen, to much lip service and push under the rug in Gov’t.

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