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Meeting to discuss quarry dispute today

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The Government quarry in Hamilton Parish after workers took industrial action (photograph by Sekou Hendrickson)

A meeting to tackle a dispute at the Government quarry that led to two days of industrial action will be held this morning. for this morning.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Public Works said that the meeting was arranged yesterday after several workers at the Hamilton Parish site called in sick.

The spokesman said: “This action comes on the heels of an internal matter occurring yesterday at the quarry, which the union is not in support of.

“This matter is currently being addressed by management, with the support of the union.”

He added that the Bermuda Industrial Union had not backed the industrial action.

The spokesman said: “The management team is consulting the labour relations section on the action taken by some staff.”

Downing tools: Government quarry workers stopped work over a managerial dispute (File photograph)

He was speaking after as many as 60 quarry workers were said to have participated in the sick-out despite Government claims that they would return to work.

The BIU met with the public works ministry during the demonstration to discuss staff concerns, which centred around management and the collective bargaining agreement.

Arnold Smith, of the BIU, was asked about the union’s stance on the protests, as well as how many workers had participated in the sick-out, but declined to comment.

The industrial action started on Wednesday around 1pm after about 100 workers downed tools at the Quarry Road site in Hamilton Parish.

Staff told The Royal Gazette that they refused to return to work until they spoke with Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works.

Several workers claimed that the action had been taken in response to a managerial dispute.

One man, who asked not to be named, said on Wednesday that the problem had been building for months. He added: “Today was the last straw.”

Representatives from the BIU met with management later that afternoon to work towards a solution.

The public works ministry spokesman said that staff were expected to return to work the following day.

But a worker, who asked not to be named, claimed yesterday that around 60 workers called in sick.

He added: “Nobody wants to do this, but problems have been going on for too long.

“It’s a shame – we have a labour Government and yet labour are having to withdraw their labour.”

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Published February 26, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated February 25, 2021 at 7:52 pm)

Meeting to discuss quarry dispute today

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