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Willing to work but ignored

Bermuda vendors at Dockyard depend heavily on cruise ship passengers

Dear Sir,

This e-mail was sent to Premier Michael Dunkley:

Dear Premier Dunkley,

I had applied to be a vendor last year in Dockyard and applied again this year and was unsuccessful on both occasions. Having been a vendor in Dockyard approximately seven years ago, I told Wedco last year and again this year that you can only make money on the two days that the regular cruise ships leave port which are Tuesdays and Fridays (which I applied for), the reason being that the vast majority of cruise passengers do not stay in Dockyard on the other days of the week that the cruise ships are in port and unfortunately any new vendors don’t know this.

Last year two of the vendors dropped out at the end of July so there was still three months left in the cruise ship season.

Wedco told me that there were between 30 and 50 vendors that applied last year so I was surprised that Wedco never contacted any of these vendors to find out if they would have been interested in taking the vacant two spaces for the last three months of the season. Being that I am not working, I go to Dockyard at least once a week during the summer months so I know for a fact that there were only three vendors in Dockyard for the last three months of the season.

At the present time, there are only five vendor spaces available and last year there was only one vendor who was selling Bermuda-made crafts.

Wedco is charging $1000 a month per vendor which is outrageous. You do have some days during the season where the vendors are unable to work because of the inclement weather so I am curious to know if Wedco reimburses the vendors for those particular days.

In my opinion, Wedco should not be charging any fees for vending as I have told Wedco before, vendors do not make a lot of money. If there is a fee to be charged for two days a week the fee should be no more than $100 a month and if any vendors want to be there for more than two days a week they can be charged accordingly.

I live in Southampton West so it would cost me approximately $45 a month just on gas alone to drive to Dockyard and back twice a week. I make pink sand Bermuda maps and put them in 8” x 10” frames which nobody else makes, so I have the expense of materials too.

The OBA stated before the last election, and also in a flyer that I have recently received, that they were going to create jobs for Bermudians. So if the OBA is really serious about creating jobs for Bermudians, here is a good opportunity for the Government to create jobs for between 30 and 50 people, even if it is only for the summer months.

A few of these vendors can be located between the gazebos where the other vendors are presently located and the rest can be accommodated on both sides of the stepping stone walkway in the Victualling Yard as there is a lot of pedestrian traffic in that area on the days the cruise ships leave port.