CoH workers issue 21 day strike notice
Bermuda Industrial Union yesterday issued a 21-day strike notice on behalf of Corporation of Hamilton workers protesting at the sacking of two colleagues.
One employee was dismissed for taking leave to look after a sick child, according to BIU organiser George Scott.
The other is Michael Pond, the trash collector fired after hitting a 16-year-old girl who abused his mother.
City of Hamilton secretary Ed Benevides said yesterday: “The City of Hamilton has received formal communications from the Bermuda Industrial Union giving 21 days notice of industrial action to protest two staff terminations.
“The City finds this action particularly disappointing given the last communications between us, about one of the terminations, took place some five weeks ago.
“It was clearly stated at the time that the City of Hamilton was prepared to quickly resolve the dispute by suggesting mediation and/or arbitration.
“The second termination had not yet completed step three of the grievance procedure.”
Mr Benevides said the Corporation believes the issues can be resolved using the existing mediation and arbitration services of the Department of Labour and Training.
“We look forward to a speedy resolution to ensure staff concerns are addressed and City services are not impacted,” he said.
Close to 50 out of the 80 employees in the industrial section downed tools on Tuesday over the issue, although sanitation workers who pick up refuse remained working as requested by their colleagues.
The case of Mr Pond has been highlighted for the past few weeks; he admitted slapping the girl on June 22 after she said he and his mother stink like his trash truck.
Mr Scott yesterday said the second employee was terminated for using a benefit in the collective agreement under ‘special compassionate leave’.
He said the worker was attending the care of a sick child, adding: “Documentary evidence was supplied and given to the employer in accordance with the CBA.”