Dock workers return to work, dispute to be sent to arbitration

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One day after portworkers downed tools, Stevedoring Services and the Bermuda Industrial Union have reached an interim agreement.

A statement released by Container Ship Management said: "We have been informed the discharge of the Oleander will commence at 1400 today.

"We will be requesting a late gate to accommodate our customers.

"Provided all goes well with the discharge, we will be departing Wednesday morning for NJ and will be able to keep our schedule with another ship arriving Monday, January 14."

The Minister of Home Affairs, Senator Michael Fahy, said this afternoon that he had met with both Stevedoring Services Limited (SSL) and the Bermuda Industrial Union (BIU) to reach an agreement that would see all parties cease and desist any further action as it relates to their ongoing dispute at this time.

Mr Fahy confirmed that it is the Ministry’s intention to refer the matter to the Permanent Arbitration Tribunal for settlement with effect from tomorrow, January 9.

Mr Fahy said, "The Ministry recognises that the public is growing increasingly weary regarding matters of industrial action such as this.

"Business operations on our docks represent a vital and essential service for our Island, and these disruptions to our trade and commerce is something that our Country just cannot - and should not have to endure at this critical juncture.

"Today, I listened intently to both sides, and appreciated their advocacy regarding the various sides of the issue. And it is our hope that over the course of the next few weeks, meaningful solutions can be mapped out so that all parties involved can benefit."

The Minister also confirmed that it is the Ministry’s intention to ensure that Arbiters hears and makes an award regarding the dispute within a 40-day period.

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Published Jan 8, 2013 at 2:00 pm (Updated Jan 8, 2013 at 2:59 pm)

Dock workers return to work, dispute to be sent to arbitration

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