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SAL work stoppage continues

A weeklong work dispute deadlock at a Southampton construction supplier SAL is said to be headed to the Labour Relations Department today.

Fifteen staff from SAL Southampton remained off the job all this week over what was said to be a threat to sack a longstanding garage supervisor at the facility.

Wornell Steede, chief union shop steward at SAL, warned the standoff could end up affecting construction, since the West End outlet supplies concrete.

“We’re not touching retail, but it could be an interruption for the construction business,” he said. “What’s keeping us going is the support of the public. We will meet with labour relations and see what happens next.”

The Royal Gazette also reported on Wednesday that Vance Campbell, SAL’s chief executive, had threatened to fire Mr Steede for his role in the walkout, citing “serious misconduct, inclusive of threatening behaviour and gross insubordination”.

Mr Steede responded yesterday that this statement had gone against the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

“The agreement states that any meeting pertaining to suspension, a warning or termination should be held in private,” he said. “I saw my termination in the paper.”

Mr Campbell could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Simon Tully, president of the Construction Association of Bermuda, was aware of the dispute but said he had not heard any complaints over cement.

He added: “I haven’t had phone calls, but unless you’re doing significant pours, a lot of the time they will batch that themselves. They could rely on Bierman’s Concrete.

“But not everybody is a CAOB member. There are firms out there that would not ordinarily call us – of the total contractors, we represent maybe 40 per cent.”

The dispute kicked off on Monday over the worker, with the staff who walked off subsequently locked out of the premises.

Mr Campbell said earlier this week that the garage supervisor had merely received a verbal warning over his performance.

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Published July 02, 2021 at 7:55 am (Updated July 01, 2021 at 9:26 pm)

SAL work stoppage continues

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