Market items delayed for the third Sunday – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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Market items delayed for the third Sunday

Dock managers expressed surprise they’re still waiting for arbitration to begin two weeks after Economy Minister Kim Wilson served a binding arbitration notice on their row with Bermuda Industrial Union.

For the third Sunday in succession, an overtime ban meant

The Oleander sat in Hamilton Dock with nobody to unload its meats, dairy products and other perishables, delaying their arrival on supermarket shelves yesterday.

It’s understood managers Stevedoring Services submitted their terms of reference for the hearing shortly after Senator Wilson delivered her notice on August 15. But it’s thought Bermuda Industrial Union has not done the same, with president Chris Furbert saying the union has not agreed arbitration is the way forward. When it’s confirmed arbitration will begin, the overtime ban will come to an end, meaning staff can recommence work on weekends and evenings.

Asked for his thoughts on the length of time taken for arbitration to materialise, Stevedoring Services general manager Peter Aldrich told

The Royal Gazette: “We are very surprised that the arbitration hasn’t started yet.

“We would have thought it’s in the best interest of the Country that this issue be resolved as quickly as possible, so that we can get back to work as usual.”

The ban went into effect on August 10 after a breakdown between the BIU and dock managers; 25 workers had declined a request to work three- or four-day weeks depending on the number of ships arriving. Sen Wilson told this newspaper she had served a binding arbitration at noon on August 15. At that time, she said a tribunal would take place as soon as possible.

But Mr Furbert has said the union’s never agreed to arbitration; he wants to see the reintroduction of container royalties to boost the incomes of workers, meaning they would be paid money depending on the weight of containers being brought through the docks.

Even if the union does not agree to arbitration, it could go ahead anyway as the importation of goods is deemed an essential service that cannot be severely disrupted. Mr Furbert did not respond to a request for a comment yesterday.

Meanwhile the BIU is still in talks with the Corporation of Hamilton over a 21-day strike notice issued nearly two weeks ago by workers protesting the sacking of two colleagues.

Secretary to the City of Hamilton Ed Benevides said yesterday: “The discussions with the Bermuda Industrial Union are progressing positively. We will not comment further at this time.”

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Published August 30, 2011 at 10:21 am (Updated August 30, 2011 at 10:21 am)

Market items delayed for the third Sunday

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