Union’s May Day call for support to tackle inequalities
One of the Bermuda’s biggest unions has appealed to the public to support healthcare changes, the implementation of unemployment insurance and a living wage.
Armell Thomas, the Bermuda Public Services Union president, speaking on the eve of tomorrow’s International Workers’ Day, said Covid-19 had magnified inequalities.
He added: “While applauding the advances made in Bermuda’s labour legislation, the BPSU also recognises that there continues to be many long-standing issues that need to be addressed.
“The pandemic has magnified the inequities within our community, and has revealed how the health, economic and social risks associated with the pandemic are disproportionately distributed amongst residents.
“To help overcome some of these historic and long-standing disparities, the BPSU calls on the community to support healthcare reform as well as the implementation of unemployment insurance and a living wage.”
Mr Thomas said: “In addition, there are obvious gaps in our country’s social safety net.
“To address these gaps, Bermuda’s social protection system must be reviewed, revamped, and properly resourced.
“No longer can it be acceptable that so many within our community continue to struggle for equal access to protection and a decent standard of living.”
He added: “The BPSU acknowledges that these are significant battles that can only be won if we work together. To this end, the BPSU renews its commitment to continue to collaborate with our membership and Bermuda’s key stakeholders in its ongoing quest to move our country ’Onward and Upward Together’.
The BPSU praised healthcare and other essential workers for their efforts over the pandemic.
Mr Thomas said: “Many of Bermuda’s workers continue their work on the Covid-19 front line, often putting their own health at risk, to provide critical healthcare and other essential services in order to keep our Island and its economy running.
”Others fulfil their employment responsibilities by working from home. Through the ongoing dedication, resilience, resourcefulness and strength of Bermuda’s workforce, we will overcome the many challenges that lay ahead.
“To all workers, we honour and celebrate you”.
May 1, May Day or International Workers’ Day, is a worldwide commemoration of the labour movement.
The event, established in 1889, was designed to commemorate labour struggles and the gains made by the labour movement.
The BPSU said it wanted members of the public to wear red, the official colour of labour, to mark the day.