Summer of harmony?

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This newspaper cannot help but feel that Walton Brown may be right when he said in this newspaper yesterday that Bermuda is about to enter a period of strained relations between unions and Government.

The writing has been on the wall for a while now as the Bermuda Industrial Union has flexed its muscles a few times post PLP Government. The OBA Government has also courted controversy by not giving the BIU a presence on the Board of Immigration.

And look at the politics — the One Bermuda Alliance is probably more aligned with the British Conservative Party which does believe in smaller government and which, history shows us, has had more to do with breaking British unions than the Labour Party (aka the PLP) ever did. There is no need to explain which side of centre the unions are.

The OBA is also going to have to make some tough decisions which are bound to be unpopular with the unions.

So do the tea leaves point to a summer of discontent? The storm seems to be brewing, but will it gather in strength? Not if everyone exercises commonsense — a message this newspaper has repeated many times.

Commonsense is about realising the hurt industrial action could do to the economy, it is about making sure proper consultation with all sides takes place, it is about not taking unilateral, off-the-cuff action, it is about stopping, drawing a breath and thinking through the implications of any decision.

Both sides — unions and Government — must show this type of commonsense. There is no need for militancy. The Country cannot afford otherwise.

Let this summer not be one of discontent, but one of harmony.

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Published Feb 14, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 13, 2013 at 3:56 pm)

Summer of harmony?

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