Bus drivers have gone on strike in support of their fired colleague who was caught working elsewhere after phoning in sick.

The island’s bus drivers walked off the job at about 4:20pm this afternoon (Wednesday) leaving scores of commuters stranded in Hamilton.

The work stoppage was announced by the Bermuda Industrial Union (BIU) after “talks broke down regarding the termination of an employee”.

The driver is believed to have been fired after working at the Department of Public Transport for 18 years.

He had called in sick from his job, but was caught working another job.

A spokesman for the Department of Transport said: “The decision to uphold the disciplinary action was because the individual was working for an outside vendor on Public Transportation property for three days after calling in sick.

“The individual also forged the signature of that vendor for the three days.

“It should be noted that this person once before worked a subsequent job while on sick leave and, due to the years of service, was given a two week suspension instead of the initial termination. This latest incident constitutes gross misconduct on the part of the employee and so the decision was made to terminate their employment.

 “Additionally, the Government worked with the BIU last year to forgive the Berkeley Performance Bond payment on the agreement that there would be no ‘wildcat’ strikes without adhering to the collective bargaining agreement and giving 21 days notice of industrial action. It seems the BIU has ignored this agreement and has inconvenienced commuters by withdrawing service with no notice.”