Quarry workers to return to work following dispute resolution
Government Quarry employees were due to return to work this morning, following “long and productive” talks to resolve the dispute that led to industrial action over a suspended worker.
The resolution came after a meeting between Public Works Minister Trevor Moniz and Bermuda Industrial Union president Chris Furbert, along with “their respective representatives”.
The worker at the centre of the dispute over the use of a Government vehicle after hours, was initially suspended for three weeks that suspension was later reduced to one week.
But in a statement released late yesterday the Minister confirmed that the employee “would receive one day suspension”. And the “remaining employees that took part in the sympathy walk out would be paid for 2.5 days out of the four days away from work.
A spokesman said: “This common ground was reached after it was agreed that errors were made by both teams — which the Ministry and the BIU committed to resolve moving forward.”
Mr Moniz said: “It was a good day for industrial relations as the union and employer agreed to continue promoting and maintaining harmonious working relations in order to protect and advance the general welfare of the employees as well as ensure management has a right to manage.”
Mr Furbert echoed the Minister's remarks and stated that his membership will be returning to duty in the morning.
The quarry workers remained off the job today following an urgent meeting called by the BIU for all Public Works employees at 8am. That meeting, which was called to discuss the latest developments in the labour dispute, disbanded shortly after 10am.
More than 100 workers downed tools in support of their suspended colleague last Wednesday. Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy referred the dispute to the Labour Disputes Tribunal on Friday after meeting with both sides in the dispute.
Mr Furbert told the workers who gathered at union headquarters that management, at that stage, had yet to respond to the union's call for the employees suspension to be reduced to three days. He declined to comment after the meeting.
Meanwhile, east end residents complained yesterday that garbage due to be picked up on Friday was piling up over the holiday weekend.
A Public Works spokesman said the pile up was due to a “delay in the collection of garbage”.
Residents were urged to “store garbage in a convenient and secure place in the interim. West end garbage collection scheduled for yesterday was also delayed.
The spokesman apologised for the inconvenience.