Wrong time for strikes
Bermuda is on the brink of the worst industrial action in several years.
While the disputes concerning bus drivers and the Corporation of Hamilton are over dismissals of employees for disciplinary reasons, they are being played out against a background of job insecurity and financial hardship.
The current overtime ban on the docks goes directly to job and income security.
What is also indisputable is that Bermuda cannot afford industrial disputes right now. Any work stoppage is a nail in the Island’s economic coffin.
The only sensible course is for these disputes to be worked out through the mechanisms of third party mediation and arbitration to which employers and unions are bound. No one wins in a strike.
It may well be that both sides have valid arguments which deserve a hearing. The appropriate forum for those arguments to be heard is before a neutral third party.
The worst thing that can happen is through work stoppages that will only inconvenience the innocent public and will do nothing to help the workers’ cases.
Now more than ever, Bermuda cannot afford strikes.