The Sanitation Workers that are hired to collect the trash fall under the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Bermuda Government and the Bermuda Industrial Union. Article 1 Purpose of the CBA says, “to achieve the highest level of efficiency in work and production which is consistent with safety and good health”.
The Sanitation Workers are classified as Essential Service workers under the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 2021 Schedule 3 Essential Services (3). I would advise Bermudians, who are criticizing the workers for not collecting the trash last Friday; that they should be asking why are the workers not given the equipment that they need to do their job as essential service workers.
The Bermuda Industrial Union would like to inform the general public that there are a number of concerns that have all been documented over the last 10 to 15 years that have remained unsolved.
1. The number of trucks that are needed to collect the trash is between 15 to 20 trucks but yet they continue to work with about 6 to 8 trucks.
2. The general public continue to place things in the trash that they know should not be placed in the trash, paint, medical waste, dog waste, etc.
3. There is no regular maintenance schedule for the trucks. Several years ago Wednesdays was designated as the day for maintenance.
4. There should be a team of Mechanics working on the trucks.
5. There are a number of Health & Safety concerns with the trucks that have been brought to the attention of management.
These are very real issues that have not been addressed for workers that are considered as essential services workers under the law, but their issues are not treated as essential. The workers are being very frank when they say that we have had meetings with Ministers and Permanent Secretaries under different Governments but somehow their issues remain unresolved and they are frustrated that things are not getting better.
The workers at Marsh Foley and so many others as essential services workers have worked through the pandemic to make sure that the People of Bermuda were kept safe. When Bermuda was on lock-down your trash was still being collected. Please remember that ALL of our essential service workers also have families that they had to leave at home during the lock downs so that they could take care of the People of Bermuda.
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