WEDNESDAY, DEC. 12: The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry issued the following regarding the ongoing Stevedoring Services Ltd. (SSL) / Bermuda Industrial Union (BIU) docks dispute.

The Ministry advised that the matter has been referred to arbitration. 

However, Stevedoring Services Ltd has communicated its intent to proceed with layoffs, thus the Ministry has instructed the Attorney General’s Chambers to file an application for an injunction against SSL in an effort to stave off their actions and the BIU to prevent any industrial action.

Once a matter has been heard by the courts, which began at 5.00 p.m., it is expected  that both parties will withdraw any action until the arbitration process has concluded. The move comes as SSL issued notice that layoffs would take effect from today.

The public will recall that last Friday, the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Hon. Patrice Minors reminded the parties that the docks dispute had been referred to the Labour Disputes Tribunal, and she called on both parties to ensure that business operated as normal as possible until the matter has been satisfactorily resolved.

As such this latest development is the Ministry’s attempt to ensure that the proper mediation processes are followed while the matter is in arbitration.