In praise of our garbage men
It takes a great deal of teamwork to keep Bermuda running on a path that hopefully promotes commitment and respect for all those who each day make a contribution in some way, that enhances our infrastructure. While much of it is taken for granted as day-to-day activities, there are times when we need to pause, and show appreciation for those engaged in keeping the island clean and healthy by removing household waste throughout our communities.
Under routine conditions so much of this is taken for granted with little thought about the challenges these workers face on a daily basis. There have been reports over the years of injuries suffered by handlers, as a result of items containing harmful material, tossed into garbage bags without concern for those who often have to deal with items that pose a threat to their safety and health, while performing their duties.
When there is a hiccup in the daily collection process, through either a labour dispute, or an act of nature, there usually is a build-up of garbage along our roads that not only becomes an eyesore. The potential for problems with rodents and other insects is a matter of concern for health officials, who know lingering piles of trash can create unpleasant conditions.
When there was a recent interruption in collection over a dispute that involved the Bermuda Industrial Union and the Government, just after the holiday period, it was not long before a pile up throughout the island was beginning to cause concern. However, a decision by the BIU to halt industrial action, at least for the moment, allowed teams of workers in the garbage disposal section to swing back into action to get things back to normal.
Yes, we know they get paid, and it is a job that has to be done daily. However, without their contribution in keeping Bermuda clean, healthy, and beautiful, our community infrastructure would be in a sorry state.
The point here is that our Bermuda team involves people in all aspects of community life from medical professionals, legal experts, business executives, bankers, hoteliers, public transportation, and numerous large and small commercial ventures.
Just as an engine requires many working parts to function effectively, our island community requires good teamwork from all sections of our infrastructure machine, to keep our island economy ticking over.
No airline pilot would think of a work stoppage at 30,000 feet, no matter what dispute existed, because it would be totally illogical to solve a problem by creating a situation where there would be no winners.
What is most important, is that in the midst of disagreements, we should be mindful of consequences.
If decisions are made, without fully exploring all avenues, especially when the result could affect the running of our vital infrastructure machine. That machine produces best when all parts are working together. In other words, everyone is important in helping to keep Bermuda moving forward.
Those workers who toil in all types of weather to keep the island free from a garage pile-up, should be commended and appreciated. Bermuda is facing what should be an exciting year with one of the largest events on the international calendar and an opportunity to show the world the best of Bermuda.
The America’s Cup could be that economic shot in the arm, to boost all sections of our economy in some way, and that goal can only be achieved with teamwork involving every Bermudian.
Yes, we have problems, just as other countries do, but we also have advantages in a small population that willing to work together, can achieve just about anything.
With the world watching, let’s show them why we all think Bermuda is one of the best places in the world.
Success would help pave the way for future generations.
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