Unrest damaging to island, warns Chamber
Industrial strife and threats to disrupt the upcoming America’s Cup will damage Bermuda’s reputation worldwide, a business leader has warned.
John Wight, president of the island’s Chamber of Commerce, said: “In today’s media world, everybody is able to view these disruptions. That is not good for Bermuda.”
Mr Wight spoke out after a day of disruption on Tuesday saw public transport grind to a halt and union leaders threaten to derail the sailing competition over the non-renewal of Reverend Nicholas Tweed’s work permit as an AME pastor.
Mr Wight said that 2016 had seen a turnaround in the island’s ailing economy, with gross domestic product and tourism figures both showing an uptick.
But he added: “Now 2017 is upon us and we are not out of the woods yet. Not by a long shot.
“Many of our businesses operate from week to week and they are vulnerable to any disruption.
“We can’t underestimate the importance of stability to economic and financial success for all Bermudians. We want Bermudians and Bermudian businesses to have every chance to prosper.
“The current disruptions to public transit are affecting employees getting to work and children to schools.
“This impacts local businesses directly. We need stability, not just to maintain jobs but to create new jobs for Bermudians.”
Mr Wight said: “We will have the eyes of the world upon us in May and June for the America’s Cup.
“Let’s not lose sight of the pride we will all have when we can showcase all that is special about Bermuda, our people, our friendly nature, the beauty of our island.
“The current dispute threatens all of this and fosters a sense of uncertainty.
“Differences of opinion will always occur, but the sake of Bermudian businesses and Bermudian jobs, we need to find a better way to solve problems and create solutions.”
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