Updated: April 30, 2021 04:37 PM
Armell Thomas, president of the Bermuda Public Services Union (file photo)
One of Bermuda’s largest unions has called on the public to support changes in healthcare, the implementation of unemployment insurance and a living wage.
Armell Thomas, president of the Bermuda Public Services Union, speaking last night on the eve of International Workers’ Day tomorrow, said Covid-19 had amplified inequalities.
He added: “While applauding the progress made in Bermuda’s labor law, the BPSU also recognizes that there are still many long-standing issues to be addressed.
“The pandemic has amplified inequalities within our community and revealed how the health, economic and social risks associated with the pandemic are disproportionately distributed among residents.
“To help overcome some of these long-standing and historic disparities, the BPSU calls on the community to support health care reform as well as the establishment of unemployment insurance and a living wage.
Mr Thomas said: “In addition, there are obvious gaps in our country’s social safety net.
“To address these gaps, Bermuda’s social protection system needs to be overhauled, reorganized and resourced.
“It is no longer acceptable that so many in our community continue to fight for equal access to protection and a decent standard of living.”
He added: “The BPSU recognizes that these are important battles that can only be won if we work together. To this end, the BPSU renews its commitment to continue to collaborate with our members and key Bermuda stakeholders in its ongoing quest to move our country forward “together”.
The BPSU commended healthcare and other essential workers for their efforts in the face of the pandemic.
Mr Thomas said: ‘Many workers in Bermuda continue to work on the Covid-19 frontline, often putting their own health at risk, to provide critical health care and other essential services to maintain our island and its economy in motion.
“Others fulfill their professional responsibilities by working from home. Through the continued dedication, resilience, ingenuity and strength of Bermuda’s workforce, we will overcome the many challenges that lie ahead.
“To all workers, we honor and celebrate you”.
May 1, May 1, or International Workers’ Day, is a global commemoration of the labor movement.
The event, created in 1889, was designed to commemorate the workers ‘struggles and the gains made by the workers’ movement.
The BPSU said it wants members of the public to wear red, the official color of the job, to mark the day.