The Government Quarry on Thursday morning. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
The Government Quarry on Thursday morning. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

Most of Government quarry workers downed tools today after a  colleague received a one week suspension of using a Government vehicle for personal use.

A press statement by Government said: “Approximately 75 per cent of the workforce at the Government Quarry have taken industrial action today on Wednesday, June 12, 2013, in support of a colleague who had been suspended for the unauthorized use of a Government vehicle

“The Ministry had previously circulated an internal memorandum to the workforce at the Quarry in March 2013, which stated that the use of Government vehicles was for the ‘express purpose of doing Bermuda Government business only’. 

“The Ministry cannot condone the unauthorized use of Government vehicles and is particularly concerned that such an action could result in a lack of insurance cover had an incident taken place.

“The Ministry initially proposed to suspend the worker for three weeks but after the initiation of a grievance process on Tuesday, June 11th, the Ministry took into consideration the employee’s good record and reduced the suspension to one week. 

Despite the grievance process already having commenced, workers downed tools first thing on Wednesday morning in support of their colleague violating the grievance procedure laid out in the Bermuda Industrial Union (BIU) collective bargaining agreement. 

“The Ministry does not accept this action as it is not in accordance with the proper grievance procedure and requests that all workers return to work and allow the proper process to be followed.”

BIU president Chris Furbert is off the island and a spokesperson said there will be no comment tonight.