TUESDAY, JANUARY 8: In response to reports that dock workers have withdrawn their services, hinting of industrial action, the Minister of Home Affairs, Sen. the Hon. Michael Fahy said this evening, “We were advised of the action late this afternoon, and I must say, we are very disappointed in this latest turn of events. I await a report from Labour Relations Officers who are actively working with both Stevedoring Services and the Bermuda Industrial Unioan  to conciliate and effect a settlement.”

Minister Fahy continued, “I think I speak for our entire community – business owners and residents alike – when I say that sudden work stoppages are not the answer.  The effective flow of our trade and commerce is vital to our community, and these instances where organisations seek to solve industrial disputes with wildcat strikes do nothing to help our challenged economy.

“We appreciate that within the workplace disputes and complaints will inevitably arise. We also recognise the importance of upholding the rights of the worker and finding a harmonious balance in solving those disagreements. And we also understand the role of the union to act as an advocate for the rights of the worker.

“However, again, these are delicate economic times that we are currently in and there is a resolution process in place to avoid such actions like today. And it is imperative that both management and the union work with us in an atmosphere of mutual cooperation and respect to uphold this process. Ultimately our aim is to ensure an amicable settlement of this dispute, so that the public and businesses are not further adversely affected.”