Tuesday, July 04, 2006

what, no promotion? strike!!!

Since it was the busy first week of the month at work, the hubby was working late yesterday & I was to take to bus home. I decided to call our landlady, Ms.StopYourNoise to see if I could get a ride home. Just because it's much more fun & she's a hoot to boot. She told me to wait at my usual pick up spot & when she hadn't shown up 30 minutes later, I began to take note of the crawling traffic on Front Street. I also noticed more people than usual trying to hail cabs. A women waiting for ride of her own told me the bus drivers went on strike as of 11:00 am that morning. Oh well, alright probably a pay increase issue. 40 minutes later the 'ms. stop your noise' still hadn't shown up & by this time I was feeling bad for her being stuck in traffic. She showed up just about that time & told me it took just 40 minutes to make through less than a mile. (One lane roads, people).

Anyway, so today I decided to read up on what the strike was all about & if it had been resolved, just incase I had to take the bus today. Here’s what I found: last year, The Bermuda Public Transportation board (PTB), created a new 'Supervisory Craft Foreman' within the PTB body shop. Two Bermudian employees of equal footing qualified for this post but union reported that the one employee awarded the position was less senior than the other candidate. So the matter was taken up & is still up at Labour Relations. But then on Sunday, PTB decided to have the employee perform in the new role in an acting capacity. Come Monday, this didn't sit well with the staff & so they organized a strike faster than you can say...well anything. From 11:00 am onwards you couldn't even see the shadow of a pink bus anywhere. Tourists & locals alike were stranded. On the bright side, it was a big pay day for taxi corporations & drivers.

What’s the real reason for the strike? Sure the union reps say it's an issue of seniority & that could be just a cover up & a politically correct reason to justify the strike. With the rest of the unionized staff backing up the non chosen employee & fighting for his/her rights, you have to wonder are the PTB union members one big happy family or if this is just a case of office politics. While it is admirable that they have chosen to strike for just one person's rights instead of a common right of say a pay increase, who in this day & age will stick their neck out for their fellow co-workers? But then every small obstacle cleared now paves a smoother road for the future. For all employees. Well there's something that can be done & take a stand they did. Oh these Bermudians sure do have guts.

But wait, who's rooting for the chosen employee, the one that was actually given the job?


Post Script:
July 5th 2006

So its official. In order to placate the entire PTB unionized staff, the newly created position was dropped. No word on the originally chosen employee. Pays to be unionized in Bermuda, eh?

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