Union suspends overtime at docks
Workers at Hamilton Docks are to suspend overtime work from Thursday, it was revealed yesterday.
Chris Furbert, Bermuda Industrial Union president, confirmed that the Portworkers’ Division voted last week for an overtime suspension.
He said the action was linked in part to the dismissal of a longstanding employee last October, which led workers to down tools.
Mr Furbert added: “That is a part of it, but there have been some other things that have been going on with the workers.”
Warren Jones, chief executive of Polaris Holdings, said dock operators Stevedoring Services received notice from the BIU that overtime work would be suspended this week.
He added: “The suspension of overtime will remain in effect until the conclusion of the arbitration case.”
Meyer Freight told customers its shipping schedule would be modified because of the lack of overtime.
M/V Somers Isles, which was scheduled to visit Bermuda from tomorrow to Friday, will now arrive today and depart tomorrow. M/V Bermuda Islander left Salem, New Jersey last night and arrive as scheduled on Thursday morning.
Meyer Freight expects the vessel to be unloaded within four hours and depart on Friday.
Workers at Hamilton Docks took industrial action for several days last October and unloaded only essential and perishable items after an employee was dismissed.
Mr Furbert said at the time that the matter should go to arbitration within four to six weeks.
The union leader said yesterday: “That didn’t happen.”
He added: “We have been having dialogue with the management about the situation.
“We thought we might not even have to go into arbitration, but those talks didn’t wind up being as successful as we would have liked them to be.”
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