Twenty workers employed by SAL downed tools at the Southampton plant at 7am on Friday morning and took their protest to the Devonshire branch in a dispute directed to the company’s new CEO, Progressive Labour Party Senator Vance Campbell.
Bermuda Real broke the story on FRESH TV early Friday morning after receiving word of the industrial action on Thursday.
When contacted today, Wornell Steede, the Bermuda Industrial Chief Shop Steward said Mr Campbell did not apologise for his role in the row over workers’ contracts.
But at the end of the day he said: “Mr Campbell knows that SAL is not the Bermuda Housing Corporation – what may have worked for him there will not work here!”
Following a meeting with management on Friday, the workers decided they would return to work on Monday.
This after the “ultimatum” delivered by SAL chief executive Vance Campbell, who is a government senator”.
“We were in the process of negotiations and we had cleared everything on our schedule up to the wages.
“We really weren’t pushing for an increase this year, but in the negotiations something was said that triggered a thought. We have fixed-term contract workers, which are one-year contract workers, and they renew their contracts every year.
“The new CEO, who has been in this position for a month, Senator Vance Campbell, has given us an ultimatum, and said, if you demand a raise, these contracts which haven’t been signed will not be signed.
“We came to work with the intention of not doing anything today, because, Vance Campbell, made the threat of not signing these contracts and putting these guys’ jobs in limbo.
“If we allow this to continue, then what’s going to happen later on?
“You don’t have no respect for your staff now, what’s going to happen down the line?”
Senator Campbell is quoted as saying: “We’ve received nothing from the workers as far as grievances or claims.
“I don’t know what they’re talking about, no threat has been made, no ultimatum was given.”
After the two sides met, Mr Steede said: “We’ve made some progress with the contract workers. He has agreed to renew their contracts, and we’re returning back to work on Monday, and we will resume negotiations after that.
“We’re not pushing for wages, we’re making sure that these guys’ contracts are signed, we felt that they were used as a pawn for us to negotiate any outstanding wages.”
Ultimately, he said: “We’re all happy with the outcome.”
Three contracts were signed and moving forward, he said: “We don’t need to be threatened and contrary to whatever Mr Campbell thinks this is SAL not the Bermuda Housing Corporation.
“Whatever worked for him there is not going down around here that’s whether he’s part of the Government of not!”