Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy and BIU President Chris Furbert. *File photos
Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy and BIU President Chris Furbert. *File photos
Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy called an emergency meeting with the BIU yesterday for urgent talks in the aftermath of two strikes within just a few days.
 
Last week bus drivers and ferry workers took industrial action without any warning prompting significant delays in the public transport network.
 
A statement released by the Home Affairs Department on Friday stated: "The Minister expressed the Government’s concern at the disruption to the transportation services and the concerns that workers downed tools without notice.
 
"The Minister also reminded the BIU of the essential services legislation that is currently on the order paper in Parliament, and that one of the reasons it was tabled was to prevent such actions."
 
The Government statement said that BIU President, Chris Furbert, accepted that the actions taken by the Marine and Ports Services workers was premature and he committed to ensuring better dialogue between senior civil servants and union representatives before any form of industrial action was taken.
 
While it was accepted that in respect of the Department of Public Transportation issues Government could have done more to prevent such actions, the staff at Marine and Ports Services should not have downed tools.

The statement added: "The Minister advises that the Government remains committed to a wholesale re-write of the existing labour legislation which is ongoing at this time to bring the legislation into a more modern framework.
 
"The events over the past few days indicate that the current legislation for dealing with labour disputes is not as effective as it should be and it is hoped that a model following International Labour Organisation principles will change the way in which disputes are handled."