KFC Matter: Government Seeking Court Order

May 31, 2012

Government today commenced Court proceedings seeking an Order to prevent KFC Bermuda from interfering with the “integrity of the Arbitration process.”

Earlier this month KFC said they disagreed with the Ministry’s proposed course of action, and submitted an application to the Bermuda courts seeking a judicial review in their ongoing dispute with the BIU.

Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Patrice Minors said, “KFC’s actions serve to undermine the arbitration process and notwithstanding the company’s need to operate efficiently it is important that the Government take the necessary steps to preserve the integrity of the process.

“It is imperative that both management and the Union work with us in the furtherance of an atmosphere of mutual cooperation, confidence and respect for this process. Our aim is to ensure an amicable settlement of this dispute.”

The BIU has called an “urgent” meeting of the BIU General Membership for 8am tomorrow morning [June 1] over the dispute, with a flyer saying, “Employers attack on Trade Union Rights. Threat of KFC job losses tomorrow. Who’s next?”.

There will be disruptions to public services including public transportation services, postal delivery, and waste management tomorrow morning due to the meeting.

The full statement from Government is below:

Government today commenced Court proceedings seeking an Order to prevent Kentucky Fried Chicken (Bermuda) Ltd. from any or all actions designed to interfere with or defeat the integrity of the Arbitration process.

By way of notice published in the Gazette on May 4, 2012, the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry declared that a labour dispute exists between the Bermuda Industrial Union (BIU) and Kentucky Fried Chicken (Bermuda) Ltd.

In accordance with provisions of Section 11 as read with Section 5 of the Labour Disputes Act 1992 the Minister appointed Mr. Wendell Hollis as Chairman and George Baisden and Garry Madeiros as members of the Labour Disputes Tribunal. The terms of reference were established in consultation with both parties.

Minister Minors said, “Last week I formally 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. I defined further action as – changes to employment contracts, changes to terms and conditions of employment, boycotts and other forms of industrial action.”

It is a matter of public record that on the same day, the BIU moved quickly to put an end to its boycott. Meanwhile, KFC management advised Labour Relations Officers, via written communication, that for various reasons, and “as a matter of practicality” the company “cannot accommodate the Minister’s request to refrain from implementing changes to employment contracts”.

Minister Minors concluded, “KFC’s actions serve to undermine the arbitration process and notwithstanding the company’s need to operate efficiently it is important that the Government take the necessary steps to preserve the integrity of the process.

“It is imperative that both management and the Union work with us in the furtherance of an atmosphere of mutual cooperation, confidence and respect for this process. Our aim is to ensure an amicable settlement of this dispute.”

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Comments (77)

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  1. no strategy says:

    Workers, PAY ATTENTION!

    OBA Govt would not have intervened. Don’t forget what the UBP used to do. Same lot!

    • 1minute says:

      Why is Government getting involved – it is 20 employees and chicken. They should get back to governing this island properly

      • Shaking the Head says:

        Why should taxpayers be paying for a dispute that has nothing to do with Government? Is it because Minister Minors ses this a personal attack on her (misguided) decision to refer it to Arbitration? Tough. Call the election and let’s get rid of these incompetents.

      • bay says:

        gov is getting involved because its election time

      • navin johnson says:

        now wait a minute 1minute…..do you mean to say that they have ever governed this island properly?

      • what are you talking about? says:

        That’s 20 lives that you are referring too. A$$ whole!

    • Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

      The Govt has absolutely no business getting involved UNLESS laws are being broken….But i haven’t read about that happening, and they are still open for business.
      I just don’t understand why Our Union and Our Govt. are soooooo buddy buddy,
      jus sounds strange compared to Global Stats.

    • Family Man says:

      An OBA Government would take action to ensure buses and ferries run and garbage is collected.

      Let private companies sort out their own affairs in the courts.

    • observer says:

      No Strategy, every comment you make shows your true colors. what strategy do you have in running your lifes affairs? Can’t you see the the agreement (contract) has expired so there is nothing binding, which affords the company to create a new set of policies, a more affordable set to be successful. Don’t be surprised when your buddies in the union lose and this opens the gate to others following suit. Why? Years of bad negotiations! Enough is enough.

  2. ABC says:



  3. jt says:

    Gov’t should not be spending our money on this crap. If the BIU wans a court order -let them seek one and pay for it. That is why their members pay dues – to finance such occasions. This is absolute nonsense and more wasting of our tax dollars.

  4. Goodbye Bermy!! says:

    The constitution guarantees the rights for every one KFC and the BIU. KFC are just exercising their rights. The union doesn’t seem to recognize that. The union seems to wanna paint KFC as the only villains in this dispute and are trying to get the backing of a government who I’m not sure know what their rights are. I wouldn’t trust either party as far as I can throw them. BIU members need to make their own sensible decisions and not allow themselves to be dictated to by over sallies union bosses who are just throwing their weight around and using the membership to show their power over the government and the country. I hope all this nonsense doesn’t hurt us in the difficult years to come.

  5. jt says:

    This has cement company written all over it.

  6. Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

    whoever owns kfc should just close its doors let all staff go (so that they can attend the disruptive meeting of chris’s)…then kolonel furbert chicken can open back up and take on more bda staff at a higher pay rate….case closed
    What i don’t understand is if the staff are not satisfied with their place of employment ….DUUUH!!…leave and open your own business…plain and simple!!
    That being said we could have one in every parish….
    i find that a certain percentage of people here just want to f……
    NaaaH!…not gonna waste my breath………………

  7. Shaking the Head says:

    This is hilarious, Bermuda is indeed another world. While the BIU was calling a boycott of KFC, fully aware it could cost their own workers their jobs, Ministers are off on junkets to tell the UN the people don’t want Independence but a few of us in Government do and the Minister of Business Development is singing to executives in the Far East to entice them to Bermuda, what will the providers of Bermuda’s income read? It was bad enough that it was only the BIU Leadership frothing at the mouth, now it’s Government, all over some fried chicken!
    You couldn’t make this up if you tried. Forget IB. Forget Tourism. Bermuda RIP.

    • Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

      EXACTLY…BRAH!!….Bermy has got to be ruled by the dumbest people on earth!…well… except for the ones that voted them in…
      Or they know something that you dont know about….DO you really think Paula is worrying herself about a chicken shack…SHE’S IN EUROPE hobnobbing with people that Rule Nations….Do you know what their Agenda is…?
      Well it’s not a 3piece dinner with mashed n gravy ok…
      ITS how to make MONEY MONEY and MORE F#@KING MONEY!!!! NOT YOU!!…

  8. cox must go says:

    Does the Premier and her Cabinet eat KFC for their Cabinet meetings? If so, I would suggest they switch to fruits, juices, crackers and specially imported cheese using their french speaking Consultant to place the order, as all the grease in KFC slows down your mental agility rendering you incapable of taking any decisions, like when to drop the Writ so we can vote out the PLP – free KFC for all.

    Cox must go!

  9. Tommy Chong says:

    Patrice Minors your actions serve to undermine the stability of our economy. Please explain what you are minister of again? From here it seams like you rather be biu vice president then the minister of the position you hold.

    • pepper says:

      Patrice, you have always been an a#s kisser….

    • observer says:

      truely, everything she has touched has turned bad. What are her qualifications and educational background? Another thing that upsets me is that every minister with the exception of Mark Bean read from a script that is written, some can’t even do that right!

      • Finally some common sense says:

        Inluding Mark Bean. When he throws away the script, his ramblings make no sense

  10. Goodbye Bermy!! says:

    We all know that Bermudians love drama and that’s what we have with the union instigators. The government don’t want to get in this mess cause we all know their in bed with the BIU..

  11. Mad Dawg says:

    Why don’t they just let the judicial review happen? That will determine the legality of the arbitration.

    If they want to get an injunction about something, how about trying to stop all these stupid frikin union meetings every couple of days? Some of us have employers that actually expect us to go to work.

  12. Pastor Syl says:

    I don’t remember the government ever getting involved in arbitration before. Perhaps I am mistaken. Somebody please clarify this. It seems unusual, especially since we the people will have to pay the legal costs.

    • LaVerne Furbert says:

      I couldn’t resist to Pastor Syl. Read “The History of the Bermuda Industrial Union” and you will read about “the government getting involved in arbitration”. Remember the Sequestration Order?

      And to think that the PLP took out time to pay homage to your mother this evening. Catch yourself Sylvia!!

      • C.B.A says:

        Times have changed LaVerne. The PLP was a party fighting for honourable causes back then, but it’s a complete failure and a misguided party now. Don’t attack people on a personal level because you refuse to accept reality.

      • GVT Mechanic says:

        Catch yourself Laverne! The BIU lost all and any integrity it had when it went on stricke to support a DRUNK ferry driver – thats when I stopped paying my dues, this guy had my KIDS on his ferry. An who’s gonna pay me the day’s pay I just lost cause I couldn’t get to work this morning.

        Half those people marching had no idea what the heck they were marching for – sheep the lot of them, just trying to get out of working!

      • Pastor Syl says:

        LaVerne: Not having access to “The History of the Bermuda Industrial Union” at this time, I can’t verify the facts here, but my often-faulty memory says the Sequestration Order was legislation outlining the criteria and process for arbitration, not the government actually getting into the middle of non-governmental bodies’dispute.

        • Pastor Syl says:

          LaVerne: My thoughts and feelings are my own. My mother has not direct impact on those thoughts and feelings. My mother’s unflagging and selfless work for the PLP is a matter of history and she deserves every accolade the party could possibly pay her, even though I am absolutely persuaded she would be extremely disappointed in the path the PLP has taken in recent years.

          In any case, given previous comments made by you in another forum which involve my mother, I have a very serious request, LaVerne. Please do not mention my mother again, in any forum. In my opinion, just her name in your mouth desecrates her memory. I may not be able to sue you for slander, but you will create in me an implacable enemy if you cannot honor this request. I do not mention your mother, your sister(s), your children or any other of your family members in this or any other forum when I am referring to or speaking to you. Please afford me the same consideration.

          • Johnny says:

            Are you really a pastor, or maybe someone is using your name. ” AN impeccable enemy” wow, what happened to love thy enemy? Also people have freedom of speech so they can say anyone’s name they like.

  13. sooooooo says:

    Can you take someone to court to prevent them going to court? All kfc are doing is asking for an interpretation of the law…. Another waste of taxpayer money!!!!

    • Amazed says:

      I agree with you. I would think that it would be in everyones best interest to be guided by the Law!

  14. Terry says:

    The BIU is Government.
    Ask Ottie.

  15. As Bermuda sinks! says:

    Too much interference by Government, and use of the taxpayers money.

  16. M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

    About to ruffle the dirty birds feathers …

  17. shirlely Richardson says:

    For those who don’t care about the rights of workers, I say shame on you. If it were not for Unions, like the BIU, BPSA, teachers unions,trade union congress, and others who have fought for the rights of working people to have a decent wage, sick benefits, vacation pay, maternity leave. and other rights, we would end up like many workers in the US. minimum wage $7.25 an hour, or china where KFC is exploiting working people for 3.00 an hour. In fact KFC workers in the US are among the lowest paid employees in the country, Many don’t have health insurance, pension benefits,So I want to thank Minister Minors for doing the right thing and standing with the worker of this country. And for some of these backward comments, who sound anti-union, I say if your benefits are taken away, many of you would be calling on the gov’t to do something to protect your rights. As for the OBA most of you are right, they would never stand up for the 99%, they only care about the 1%. So they would never get my vote.

    • Hmmmmmm says:

      The OBA care about Bermuda and Bermudians.

    • Mad Dawg says:

      Shirley, what about KFC’s rights under the law? Aren’t they just as important?

    • .am says:

      $3/h? The people at Foxcon make just over half of that ($1.78). They’re responsible for your iPads and iPods and iPhones and Nintendo Wiis, btw. If you compare the respective skill sets required, KFC is the place to be.

      If they paid Foxcon employees more then the margins are affected so the prices would be raised and then the duty would be more ..etc etc. And guess who ends up paying more?

      If workers get paid more, KFC has to make more – so either product prices go up or people get cut. So when all the union workers get let go, we’ll have you and your sound logic to thank.

    • Portia says:

      Shirley, you are missing the issues here (quite conveniently). I don’t think there is a single sensible person who will say they object to the idea of a union, or that unions haven’t done much to protect workers right. But what I think people are objecting to are the tactics of THIS PARTICULAR union. Wildcat strikes, long drawn out disputes over technicalities, and now Government involvement with taxpayer money are NOT to the benefit of the workers or Bermuda in general. It will only cost us time, money and jobs that we REALLY can’t afford to lose right now.

    • Familiar says:

      @ Shirley Richardson… I’m afraid while your point is a good one, you’re speaking about apples and oranges.

      If this were about extremely low paid wages or lack of benefits, or had the slightest chance of impacting workers anywhere else in the world, then certainly the union would be standing up for workers rights. But that isn’t the case here. For the work they do, employees of the local KFC are well paid and have all the expected benefits.

      The big mistake I see people making here is thinking that any of this remotely impacts on the KFC brand. KFC is a franchise. What happens here in no way impacts workers for other franchises anywhere else in the world.

      This is about just over 30 well paid, well benefited workers. It’s about a company attempting to do the right thing for their workers and their company. It’s about a union that is so far behind the times in their thoughts and actions that they truly are an embarrassment for responsible unionists worldwide.

      As for the government involvement, I honestly have no idea what the heck they’re thinking.

    • Amazed says:

      You are of course correct Unions have done great things, but that does not mean they are correct in every instance. The ministers job is not to stand by the workers her job is to stand by the process for resolving disputes, and it is NOT her job to take sides!!

    • Dwayne D. Talbot says:

      I agree 100%

    • GVT Mechanic says:

      Shirley, this is laughable! Think for yourself girl! I’m a skilled mechanic and my benefits are not much better than KFC’s – this has nothing to do with workers rights and everything to do with the BIU thinking they can bully this country into submission.

      What KFC pay in any other country is completely and utterley irrelevant.

    • Local that left... says:

      lol thats because the majority of kfc workers in teh US are high school or college students, or people doing part time between jobs…. people do not make careers out of it very often

      the question isnt about anti-union or anti-rights…. teh VAST majority of posters have acknowledged the history of the union and rights..

      none of the biu supporters here though can actually tell which rights are being harmed… the holiday and sick leave that these kfc people have alone is enough to question what exactly is KFC doing wrong..imho nothing

    • OMG says:

      But Shirley – they have a job which many do not, even if it is at $7.25 per hour!!

    • Build a better Bermuda says:

      I am not against unions, I am against unions out of control and bullying businesses.
      All information coming out is that the KFC workers aren’t losing benefits or health insurance, the BIU can’t even cite any examples of benefits the workers are losing. They get more vacation and sick time then me, and I need accreditations the require continuous courses for my job and skill.
      the one thing KFC has done is moved to protect their employees pensions from a scheme that the BIU could not provide financial information on and even admitted was not performing well. KFC, has acted entirely with in their legal right in dealing with an out of control BIU who would rather see the company shut down and the employees out of work, than yield to common sense. Won’t that be a great victory for the union world.
      While the BIU continues to points figures of inappropriate behaviour at other parties, they do so to prevent people from asking what they are up to and why they can’t provided detailed records about what they have been doing with the monies they take from their members who worked hard to earn them.
      All the work the union of the past has done to give all workers their fair of share rights is being trampled and spit on by the actions of the current leadership, of both the union and the Government, in their handling of this affair. They have become an embarrassment to Bermuda’s reputation and that is going to make it harder to attract the valuable overseas businesses to our shores, that would help to shore up and provide jobs across almost all sectors of our economy. A reputaition take a lifetime to earn and moments to destroy.
      For whatever KFC sins have been, they are showing to be the lesser of the 3 evils in this dispute and despite the gastro-intestinal adventure my bowels are likely to endure, I think I will have a chicken sandwich there next lunch, at least I will be supporting local workers.

  18. Rory says:

    It amazes me the petty BS Government focuses on… i.e. seeking a court order for… meanwhile shady backdoor deals occur and you don’t do jack squat.

    Bunch of jokers you are..

    • Sooooo says:

      @Rory… To the Government this is about 1 thing and 1 thing only VOTES!!! There are a significant number of union members that have serious doubts about the capability of the present Government. Many of those will NOT vote in any upcoming election (they are PLP supporters who out of loyalty will not vote for another party)

      The PLP needs to be seen to “Support” the efforts of the BIU (no matter how ludacris) in order to keep as many of those votes as possible. Whats best for Bermuda or the economy comes a distant second…

      • observer says:

        this is so true! majority of these people follow blindly, and if having to live anywhere else in the world would have major issues. When I worked in Germany, Australia and Canada any wisper of complaint, one minute late or even seen not doing anything you would be served a last warning. That is why their countries are successful. I can remember having to be at work 30 minutes before duty in Germany or else they had called a substitute to replace you when the shift started. Bermuda is changing and it has to, or else we will be left behind due to no one wanting to invest in business with poor ethics when it comes to labor and required productivity.

  19. Familiar says:

    Our government does seem to like to make itself look silly.

    • Come correct says:

      Just banging the last few nails in the coffin, I guess they’ll be like the ubp now, how did brown put it? Politically deceased?

  20. Hmmmmmm says:

    If the government force KFC to have to go to the BIU, they will kiss goodbye to investment in Bermuda. Who would build hotel, resorts only to have to have a government not support them, if they wished to have their employees pensions in an accredited scheme. It will be lights out to future jobs. Minors needs to resign and NOW

  21. LaVerne Furbert says:

    “Bernews has become a site for unhappy OBA members and supporters. There is rarely an intelligent debate those goes on here. I think I’ll stick with Bermuda Elections 2012. I’m willing to bet my bottom dollar that most of you were down at the Cabinet Office carrying placards when Janice Battersbee gave her speech.

    Not one of you have the courage of your convictions. Cowards, the lot of you!!”

    • Barracuda says:

      “There is rarely an intelligent debate those goes on here. “??

    • Honestly says:

      Speaking of cowards…that will be the B.I.U. Sick people about self. No one but self. Ruin a country in a day under Chris Furbert! SAD!

    • Zombie Apocalypse says:

      Laverne, now that you’re a legal expert, will you be making sure the BIU is in compliance with the law by issuing all it’s outstanding annual accounts? Or will the BIU continue to operate illegally?

    • C.B.A says:

      Lol such a PLP/LaVerne thing to say. Mostly everyone here has a good point so instead of addressing the issues, she just calls everyone a name and then accuses them of being unintelligent. Lol you can’t make this stuff up.

      • C.B.A says:

        Oh and for the record, I was not down at cabinet that day and I did previously support the PLP before their spending put us in this ridiculous debt.

    • east enda says:

      no one listens to you LaVerne

      • As Bermuda sinks! says:

        LaVerne, every time I read your posts I have to laugh

    • As Bermuda sinks! says:

      LaVerne, your posts make me laugh every time.

    • OMG says:

      Laverne – give us a reading on what happened in the Cabinet Kitchen if you have your ear to the ground??

    • Yes says:

      Why is there a capital V in the middle of your name?

  22. Jim Bean says:

    So many plp paid bloggers on here it is sad…

  23. The Cox Parris Minors Chronicles says:

    when the PLP supporters eventually have their fill of Team Cox and Minors (nee Parris) i hope the 2 of them dont bore us with a book about why they were so lazy, inept and utterly useless, Patrice has the 2nd most important Ministry and yet again is clueless hence why her Cousin Paula now has to attend Press Conferences to hold up her weak fledgling Cousin Patrice

    these two are useless, and quite vindictive to all those who dont kneel to worship them

    cold someone, somewhere, anywhere put Bermuda and the PLP out of the misery of these 2, I cant take Dr Brown but he can go speak for us at the UN any day, can you imagine sending the Testicular Fortitude Duo, after buying hats and those wierd all in one blouse tshirt outfits they probably sit down to evening tea at the Dorchester and write letters to their pen pals from hight school and giggle before going to handle our business where they read the speeches prepaed for them by us civil servants and then run us under the bus implying that we ae stealing money, like they dont order our every move

    please OBA, UBP, PLP save us all from Paula Cox and Patrice Parris Minors, they are more clueless and useless than those people you buy chickennfrom at KFC who havent yet figured out that instead of running a production line to serve the food, they shold actually have 4 tellers with somene picking up your order as you place it

    i love Bermuda and my civil servang paycheck but loathe these people we are forced to kiss and worship every day at work, please give us back the hated often despised 40 Thieves, at least with them we all had 4 trips a year and 2 cruises – can i get a Leader and Premier with my original meal deal with a biscuit and raan di whirl soda?

  24. Crystal Cave says:

    Minors has lost it. Doesn’t understand simple law. Pathetic.

  25. Family Man says:

    Amazingly poor leadership from the People Lacking Principles.

    Instead of seeking a court injunction to prohibit those businesses and industries that are NOT involved in the fried chicken dispute from withdrawing their labour or disrupting their work the People Lacking Principles get a court injunction to prevent one side from using the law to question the Ministers decisions in court.

    Investors and IB have been watching the actions of this government with dismay. Flowery speeches about resetting the dial and clean hands count for little when they see this.

  26. Pitts Bay says:

    I suppose we do need clarity on what Min. Minors is actually applying to court for. Is it to challenge KFC’s court application?; or is to to try and prevent the internal re-organisation pending resolution? (whether through arbitration, the courts or otherwise).

    My reading was the later. I think it would be really stupid to try and prevent the Chief Justice hearing the matter…. …. but you never know!!

  27. let God deal wit it says:

    Where the employees think their working? KFC is a job not a career. U expect the best results. Its like working Mc Donalds,burger king,wendys etc in USA. Go get a real career n stop complaining. U working KFC not Burger King, u can’t have it your way lol lmaol. Goverment need go over to HSBC where bermudians have lost their jobs. jobs have been lost since they have taken over n more will b lost in the future. HSBC will b run from over seas in 10years

  28. Lady Elizabeth says:

    Fellow Bermudians,
    Remember MacDonalds and the Burger issue, let them fall where they may!

  29. John Dog says:

    LF speaks about debate when her idea of a debate requires everyone to agree with her; and if they don’t she will start calling names and generally acting in her own unpleasant way.

    What makes me laugh about PM’s court application is the fact that KFC has already been granted leave to judicially review the her decision. The court also ordered the arbitration proceedings be stayed until the JR is concluded. In my view, the application to the court by PM is a waste of time and tax payers money. They only reason I can see for her taking this step (which is very likely to be refused by the court) is to please the BIU. So more good governance by the PLP Government. Shut down Bermuda for 10 ish employees. Nice, just what we need.

    Was that a sufficient debate LF? I would think not! I am now waiting for you to rubbish me and anyone who agrees with logical arguments. Oh, yes I am white and don’t support the PLP (just to help your personal attacks!).

  30. Honesty says:

    Hellllllllllllllllooo Bermuda!

    May I ask, is this government now interefering with the judicial process? Hm. Are we run by a dictatorship!? I feel our government takes the worst of democracy, socialism & dictatorship, blends them together and *bam* here we are. Onee lost government.

    Please Bermuda. Base your vote in the next electionon the future. Not the past. This government has done many good things for this island in acheiving equality in the work and social arena. Since ewart brown, this government has failed everyone. For example:free public transport for students; the public transport relieeeesssssss on these repeat and constant customers. A dollar per bus like it used to be would be a SMART thing to do. Instead. An attempt at a 100% rise in the short ferry routes, to make up for short falls.

    I’m not an accountant. Doesn’t take a genius. Stop trying to win votes. Who cares who runs the island. Just DO IT RIGHT.

  31. Tretty bump says:


  32. Yes says:

    Yes Betty Never a truer word spoken said and we were thinking Betty yes all those lazy marchers are that indeed

  33. Yes says:

    The good times are over in Bermuda this is the future all these old cats fighting over crumbs with no thought for the young people most of their lazy asses should be retired and put out to pasture .
    Move aside and let the young ones clean up the mess u have made of Bermuda!

  34. Bermuda Is Another World says:

    If the agreement has expired they KFC have every right to start another one KFC also can form another company, just like the union and its cronies have the right to protest. Donald Lines can shut down KFC in a heart beat and it want be any problem to him. Then what would these idiots do then. I feel sorry for the staff who are being miss guided by overzealous union officials.