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Disruption of buses irresponsible — minister

Transport Minister Michael Fahy

The transport minister last night said those calling for labour disruption over the rejection of a work permit for the Reverend Nicholas Tweed should be “ashamed of themselves”.

Senator Michael Fahy was speaking after a meeting called by the Bermuda Industrial Union was set to cause suspension of this morning’s bus service from 8am on a day when many schools reopen after the holidays.

He said the bus operators’ action amounted to a “breach of employment contracts”.

“I am profoundly disappointed that the Bus Drivers and Allied Workers Division of the Bermuda Industrial Union advised Public Transportation Board management that there would be no buses operating from 8am on Tuesday, January 3.

“No time for recommencement of service was given. This advisory does not fulfil the terms of the collective bargaining agreement in place and moreover the issues to be discussed do not relate to labour issues.

“Disruption of public transportation services is totally irresponsible, especially since many schools open on the very day of the meeting being called. The timing is obviously designed to cause maximum disruption.

“Taking unauthorised leave of absence is wrong and is a breach of employment contracts. The public expects more and is entitled to do so.

“Those calling for such disruption should be ashamed of themselves. I urge the union members to think about their public duty and reconsider their position to enable workers to get to work and students to get to school.

“I encourage members of the public to help your neighbour and car pool and for all other public service vehicles to be on the road to help service the public when they need it most.”