Employers Council Supports Labour Day Decision

April 19, 2012

The Bermuda Employers’ Council [BEC] said they endorse the decision of Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Patrice Minors to keep the island’s Labour Day Holiday in September.

Earlier this week the Minister announced the date would remain the same, after considering a request from the Bermuda Trade Union Congress to move the holiday date to May 1st, a date which approximately 80 countries celebrate International Workers’ Day [also known as May Day].

A BEC spokesperson said, “As a member of the Labour Advisory Council, the Bermuda Employers’ Council (BEC) endorses the decision of Ms Minors, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry not to change the Labour Day Holiday from September to May 1st.

“Among the BEC members views if we were to change the current date then: the Island would be closed for two business days when our International major trading partners would be open which is detrimental to the Island; there would be too many holidays in a short period of time between Good Friday and May 24th; there would be 4 public holidays plus 1 day for the Ag Show in 1 school term detrimental to the educational system; retail sales in May and September would be reduced; there would be the loss of the last traditional family outings and vacations before returning to school; there would be the loss of a Monday as a preferred holiday compared with May 1st occurring during the week; and, there would be too long a gap between July and November without a public holiday. Statistically, 97% of our members surveyed were against the change in dates.

“The BEC believes there is ample opportunity for the trade unions to celebrate May 1st with other non- Western countries without it being a national holiday in Bermuda,” said the statement.

The BEC is the Island’s non-profit employer organization specializing in Labour Relations and Human Resource Management with over 350 members in all industries.

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