1981 general strike remembered
Veterans of the 1981 General Strike were applauded yesterday outside the former headquarters of the Bermuda Industrial Union.
A small crowd gathered to commemorate the landmark event 40 years on.
Chris Furbert, the BIU president, read a declaration of solidarity with Nishanthi Bailey, the president of the Bermuda Union of Teachers, at a corner overlooking Union Square.
Ottiwell Simmons, a former BIU president, watched with Helena “Molly” Burgess, one of the BIU negotiators from 1981, and Wendell Hassell, a former head of the union’s construction division.
The statement highlighted the 1980 deadlock at a meeting between the BIU and the Government to negotiate wage increases for blue collar and hospital workers.
The stand-off led to the brief General Strike, which ended peacefully on May 7, 1981 after a deal was struck.
The Right Reverend Nicholas Dill, the Bishop of Bermuda, opened the ceremony with a prayer “as we gather in this place with many different memories, some very personal, and look at our community”.
The ceremony was organised by Glenn Fubler, a community activist.