Bermudians urged to ‘confront’ financial challenges ahead
Bermudians were today urged to “put their shoulders to the wheel, stand firm and stand strong to confront the challenges” that lie ahead in these difficult times.
Premier Paula Cox made the comments to trade unionists and members of Bermuda’s workforce before the annual Labour Day march through the streets of Hamilton this morning.
Ms Cox told a small crowd on Union Square it was necessary to push through the global financial crisis together. And she had high praise for civil servants and Government Ministers who opted to take a five percent pay cut.
“I want to publicly thank Ministers of the Government, Members of Parliament across the board of all political stripes,” said Ms Cox.
“I’m thanking them for taking a pay cut of five percent and leading by example and being trailblazers. And this was done by us as of April 1 this year.
“We’re now in a most unusual situation and what it requires is that everybody has to put their shoulders to the wheel and continue to stand firm, stand, strong, and work despite the challenges.”
Ms Cox then praised Bermuda’s “unsung heroes”, people she described as “hardworking men and women that keep Bermuda moving forward”.
“Today we honour you, we stand strong with you and today we thank you for all of your hard work to keep Bermuda running.
“Labour Day is a time to reflect on our core objectives of the labour movement here in Bermuda and around the world.”
She added: “Harmonious labour relations are absolutely vital to our economic well-being and political stability."
Opposition leader Craig Cannonier told those present: “We must remember that during these challenging times we are our brother's keeper."
Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Patrice Minors acknowledged Bermudians who have lost their homes due to the recessionary climate, and those who have lost loved ones due to gun violence.
Trade unionists who addressed the crowd included Wendell (Shine) Hayward of the Trade Union Congress of Bermuda, Bermuda Union of Teachers secretary Mike Charles, and Bermuda Public Services Union president Kevin Grant.
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