Trash collectors have been striking for over a week now for officially unknown reasons. While the Bermuda Sun has suggested that it is due to collectors wanting more pay, noone can really say for certain what the cause is.
Personally I’ve grown quite annoyed with the Bermuda Industrial Union as of late. Last month I was left stranded in Devils Hole for over an hour before someone kindly told me that the Buses were not running. Upon calling up the transportation board I was informed of an "emergency meeting" that had been called. I’m sorry, I don’t care what kind of pretty words you want to use, any meeting held during regular hours of service that disrupts that service is a strike. Similar goes for trash collecting. Refusal to collect the trash is a strike, not a work to rule as, unless I’m mistaken, collecting the trash falls within the boundaries of the job description of a trash collector.
It is rediculus that these sort of issues cannot be resolved through negotiation before taking planned strike action as opposed to these impromptu strikes where we’re not even told the reasoning behind them, which I think is absolutely absurd. President of the Bermuda Industrial Union, Chris Furbert, should be glad that I no longer have a car as if I did I would have taken my trash and thrown it on his lawn days ago in my own form of protest.
So, as the Bermuda Sun suggests, is this recent strike action related to demands for higher pay? Perhaps the workers do indeed deserve higher pay, especially considering government’s precident for increasing the pay of members of parliament and civil servants last summer, but at what cost?
One question I’ve always wondered about is why we have 3 individuals manning each trash truck. When I was away at school in London, Ontario, trash was collected every 6th weekday as a means to cut costs. Beyond this, each trash truck was manned by a driver and one individual to collect the trash and throw it into the bin. If 2 individuals could man trash trucks successfully in Canada, why is it that we have 3 per truck here?
Perhaps I’m just bitter for having watched my trash go uncollected for over a week, but in my eyes, I say increase pay to even more than the $26 an hour but make other cutbacks to compensate – such as 2 individuals per truck.