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Dock workers in Hamilton walk off the job

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Port of Hamilton cargo dock-workers walk off the job (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Workers at Hamilton docks walked off the job yesterday morning after a member of staff was suspended.

Warren Jones, the chief executive officer of Polaris Holding Company, the parent company of Stevedoring Services, confirmed that staff had “withdrawn their labour” after they held an “unauthorised meeting”.

The employee was suspended after the meeting and Mr Jones said staff had “withdrawn their labour in support”.

The industrial action by 32 out of the 42 staff happened while the cargo ship Bermuda Islander was docked.

A source at the port, who asked not to named, said the dispute broke out as the vessel came in.

He added its cargo included refrigerated goods, animal feed and Christmas trees.

The man said staff would unload essential cargo only under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.

Staff lined up at the entrance to the docks before they left at 10.30am.

Mr Jones said the walkout entailed “several different things” and that he would have to “wait and see” if a resolution could be reached.

He added: “I believe it was strategic, in that they did it with the ship in.”

Chris Furbert, the president of the Bermuda Industrial Union, could not be contacted for comment.

The latest problems came after docks staff downed tools in early September in a dispute over cost-cutting measures because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Staff also refused to work overtime in August as part of the same dispute.

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Published November 20, 2020 at 2:33 pm (Updated November 20, 2020 at 2:32 pm)

Dock workers in Hamilton walk off the job

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