HAMILTON, Bermuda, Oct 23, CMC — The Bermuda Electric Light Company (Belco), hit by a one-day strike last week, has appointed a former apprentice as its new president with operational accountability.
Dennis Pimentel will now assume control of Belco, although Sean Durfy, under fire over his management style which led to the strike, will remain as president and chief executive officer of the parent company, Ascendant.
Pimentel, a Bermudian who was previously vice-president of grid operations, takes over his new role with immediate effect.
He started at the company as an apprentice in 1989 and has also served in other positions at the company — Bermuda’s sole power provider — in positions including specialist electrical fitter, operations and maintenance foreman and capital projects foreman.
The move came after two weeks of industrial action by the Electricity Supply Trade Union (ESTU), which called for Durfy, a 52-year-old Canadian who was formerly president and chief executive officer of WestJet, Canada’s second largest airline, and Robert Schaefer, the chief financial officer, to be fired.
Premier David Burt, who helped broker a weekend peace deal, said that ESTU and Ascendant had settled on “a way forward” after the union imposed a work-to-rule over the departure of four Bermudian staff and Durfy’s management style and that discussions would continue.
The standoff worsened last Friday as unionised staff went on strike, but the work stoppage was called off that evening after Ascendant obtained an injunction from the Supreme Court.