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‘Someone has to make a stand’

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Bus operator Earlston Thompson continued to defy the Bermuda Industrial Union strike yesterday and drive his regular shift, saying he’d already resigned from the union.

“Reprisal is always a factor in situations like this here,” Mr Thompson said, shortly after his number three bus arrived in Hamilton at 8.30am.

He added: “But someone has to make a stand.”

Mr Thompson appeared to be the first to break ranks on Thursday afternoon, when he took his bus out on the road.

Calling himself a BIU member for more years than he could recall, Mr Thompson said people along the streets had raised their arms in support as he drove past.

“I’m just very sorry that the public has had to suffer,” he said.

Believing other bus operators were afraid to break the strike, Mr Thompson said he felt the union had been wrong to down tools on Wednesday and had also been wrong to threaten a strike in February, when a sacked bus operator was given back his job.

Minutes after his bus headed out of the terminal, a woman operator drove in and parked in the number seven bay.

Asking not to be identified, she said: “Innocent people with bus passes need to get to work.”

A number three bus arrived shortly before 9am.

The driver, who requested not to be named, said: “I’m just doing my job. Right is right, wrong is wrong, and I’ve got a job to do.”

Saying that he didn’t feel at all threatened by turning up to work during a strike, the driver added: “The people have been most appreciative.”

Bus Operator Earlston Thompson reported back to work for the second time this week, as he operated the Number 4 bus yesterday morning.
Bus operator Earlsron Thompson reports back to work for the second time this week, as he operated the number 4 bus yesterday morning. Here another bus operator helps guide him out, as he to reported for bus duty. (Photo by Akil Simmons)

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Published August 20, 2011 at 9:00 am (Updated August 20, 2011 at 8:29 am)

‘Someone has to make a stand’

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