[Updated] There will be disruptions to public transportation services, postal delivery, waste management and more tomorrow morning [June 1] due to an “urgent” meeting of the BIU General Membership. The Transport Ministry said it is anticipated that the meeting will last for two hours.
The Bermuda Industrial Union has called the General Membership Meeting for tomorrow morning at 8am at BIU Headquarters. The flyer said the agenda is, “Employers attack on Trade Union Rights. Threat of KFC job losses tomorrow. Who’s next?”
A Ministry spokesperson said, “The public is advised that due to a general meeting being called by the Bermuda Industrial Union (BIU) for tomorrow morning – June 1, 2012 at 8.00 a.m., there will be disruptions to public transportation services as well as other public services such as postal delivery, waste management among others. It is anticipated that the meeting will last for two hours.
Update 5.52pm: A Transport Ministry spokesperson said only the following commuter ferry services will operate tomorrow morning prior to the BIU meeting:
- Hamilton – Rockaway: 6:50am, 7:20am
- Hamilton – Cavello Bay: 6:50am, 7:10am
- Hamilton – Watford Bridge: 6:50am, 7:10am
- Hamilton – Belmont – Darrell’s Wharf – Salt Kettle: 7:00am, 7:15am, 7:20am, 7:24am
Update 6.47pm: The BIU released a statement saying the reason for the urgent General Membership Meeting tomorrow morning is “because the BIU’s attempts on behalf of the KFC workers to resolve the dispute with the management of KFC concerning their terms and conditions of employment have broken down.”
“The BIU has, in good faith, abided by the law, submitted to arbitration and lifted its boycott in accordance with the request of the Minister of Economy Trade and Industry,” said a statement from the Union.
Meanwhile, the jobs, and terms and conditions of employment of the KFC workers are under daily attack as set out below”.”
The full list of points from the Union is below:
- 1. On May 3, 2012 we received a document that stated that the dispute was referred to arbitration and that it would be gazetted in the following Friday’s newspaper.
- 2. On May 9, 2012 a letter from the Minister of Economy Trade and Industry was sent to both parties asking them to submit terms of reference and a nominee for the tribunal with a deadline of May 15, 2012. KFC have said that they “never agreed” to settle this dispute via arbitration. In fact, not only did KFC agree to arbitration, following the referral of the matter by the Minister of Economy Trade and Industry, KFC nominated Mr. Gary Maderios as their member of the tribunal.
- 3. After both parties agreed to submit to arbitration in accordance with the Minister’s request of May 9, 2012 the KFC management on May 17, 2012 and May 18, 2012 issued a number of documents to all staff requiring them to sign before June 1, 2012 which would transfer their employment to KFCO as new company containing terms which were both different and less favourable than those previously enjoyed by KFC workers in their contracts of employment.
- 4. On May 22, 2012 the Minister of Economy Trade and Industry sent out documents confirming the terms of reference for the tribunal.
- 5. Following receipt of the letter from the Minister of Economy Trade and Industry dated 22 May 2012 in which she confirmed the reference to arbitration and requested that “both parties act in good faith and both desist from taking any further action pending the decision of the arbitrators for the sake of good industrial relations and in accordance with the spirit of the legislation”. The BIU, as an act of good faith, and within hours of receipt of that letter called off its boycott of KFC.
- 6. On May 23, 2012 KFC Bermuda took out a writ in the Supreme Court for a leave to judicially review the Minister of Economy Trade and Industry’s decision. The Minster is named as the as the first respondent and the Bermuda Industrial Union as the second respondent.
- 7. On 25 May 2012 Chief Justice Ian Kawaley signed an Order granting KFCB leave to challenge the Minister’s decision and staying the arbitration process until further order of the Court.
- 8. On Monday May 28, 2012 Mr. Donald Lines gave a letter to all staff seeking a change of employment to KFC Operations Ltd stating “KFCO will not schedule anyone for work who has not accepted employment with KFCO and signed a KFCO statement of employment”. He further stated in that same letter, “If we [KFCO] have not received your signed copy of the new statement of employment with KFCO by 31st May 2012 we will regretfully have to assume that you are choosing to resign your employment with KFCB and KFCO.”
- 9. On Wednesday May 30, 2012 around 4:00PM the attorneys for KFCB, Wakefield Quin Ltd. served a copy of the Chief Justices’ Order dated 25 May 2012 on the BIU.
- 10. Why would KFCB get and order from the Chief Justice on Friday May 25, 2012 and not serve it on the BIU until Wednesday May 30, 2012, just one day before the staff were due to sign the documents for the new company