Polls Don’t Show Support For Labour Day Move

November 13, 2012

Bermuda Chamber Commerce in association with the Bermuda Employers Council [BEC] today released the results of their recent Mindmaps poll on the suggested move of the National Labour Day Holiday.

Chamber President Ronnie Viera and BEC President Keith Jensen explained; “Earlier this year in response to a request from the Bermuda Trade Union Congress to move the Labour Day holiday to May 1st, the Minister of Economy, Trade & Industry, the Hon. Patrice Minors consulted with various stakeholders, including the local and international business community. Businesses responded unanimously, clearly stating that such a move would not be in the best interest of the country.”

Mr. Jensen explains further; “In direct response to the Premier’s reported comments the BEC and The Chamber agreed that it was imperative that this matter be addressed at the national level. To this end we committed to jointly financing a national Mindmaps survey. The results clearly speak for themselves.”

  • 76% of residents (excluding non-Bermudians) believe that Labour Day should be celebrated on the first Monday in September
  • Females (81%) have a stronger opinion than males (71%) to keep Labour Day in September
  • Blacks (81%) have a stronger opinion than whites (72%) to keep Labour Day in September
  • Persons aged 35- 44 (83%) and 45-54 (82%) have stronger opinions than other age groups which vary between 65% and 75% to keep Labour Day in September
  • Among those registered to vote, 78% believe Labour Day should be celebrated in September.

Mr. Viera concluded by noting; “We have shared our findings with the Premier and given the overwhelming support to continue to celebrate labour day on the first Monday in September, we hope this ends the discussion on any change.”

In their initial response, the business community stated that the move would be detrimental to commerce for a number of reasons including but not limited to the following:

  • Our tourism product is most closely aligned with North America, and any change would negatively impact traditional Labour Day holiday patterns:
  • Adding another, third national holiday to the April/ May calendar would be extremely detrimental to commerce. May is the first full month of our tourism season and is much busier than September, so the cost to retailers and restaurants in particular would be significant if they were forced to either close or operate on over time;
  • Equally, the financial services industry would be impacted unfairly if they were forced to close for an additional day within the second quarter and again in the third;
  • It was also noted that although it is not a National holiday, the Friday of the Annual Exhibition, when schools are closed, constitutes a fourth holiday day in the same period.
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Comments (17)

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  1. pebblebeach says:

    End of discussion...

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  2. Whiny Whiny says:

    Who brought this up! squash it, it is over. Dusted and done.

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  3. Micro says:

    "Females (81%) have a stronger opinion than males (71%) to keep Labour Day in September
    Blacks (81%) have a stronger opinion than whites (72%) to keep Labour Day in September
    Persons aged 35- 44 (83%) and 45-54 (82%) have stronger opinions than other age groups which vary between 65% and 75% to keep Labour Day in September"

    Are these break downs even necessary??

    Only stat that matters is that BERMUDIANS, black, white, young, old, man or woman, want the holiday to stay where it is.

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  4. me says:

    why are we talking about changing a holiday to a different day, aren't there BIGGER issues. WE ALREADY HAVE MAY 24 i like having a holiday every month. jeeeshums

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  5. Bazinga! says:

    Tracking back to the article 20 January 2012 http://bernews.com/2012/01/possible-labour-day-date-change/

    "Minister Minors said, “While there was astounding support for the proposal, I think it’s important to first consult with other key stakeholders for comment and input before the matter is put before her Cabinet colleagues for decision.”

    These poll numbers don't jive with "astounding support" so what was behind the Bermuda Trade Union Congress to propose this change in the first place?

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    • Y-Gurl says:

      Minors says a lot and knows very little

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    • J Starling says:

      The first of May is International Labour Day, and recognised as such by the UN. The majority of the planet uses May 1st as a holiday accordingly. The original intent and desire of those calling for a national holiday for labour (labour day) sought to bring Bermuda in line with most of the world by celebrating it in May. The then government resisted this idea and instead pushed for the US/Canadian date. The labour movement here still wishes to bring us in line with the majority of other nations in celebrating labour day at the same time, on May 1st.

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

        Just by your very first sentence...My Vote is NO!

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      • Hello says:

        Under the PLP the Labour movement had dwindled into a minority....look at the numbers. Having the word Labour in your name dies not mean you are for labour, Wake up and smell the reality, it is rotten.

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  6. terry says:

    Define "stakeholders".

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    • Maximus Minimus says:

      "Stakeholders" - those in possession of a stake wishing to drive it through the heart of society. :-)

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  7. Opressed says:

    The government has ulterior motives on this one, rest assured.

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  8. William says:

    How about the eleven teenth of Neveuary?
    that would then free up my time to work that day without thinking how lucky i am to be working that day...
    it is That Good!....

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  9. 1minute says:

    Have 2 holidays and make everybody happy

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  10. LaVerne Furbert says:

    This is a non-issue at this time and just another distraction by the combined opposition. The Trade Union Congress has not discussed the matter since, so why would Mr. Jensen and Mr. Viera bring up the matter at this time and spend money on a poll? Why publish it now?

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    • Zombie Apocalypse says:

      Yes, why bring it up now, when there are so many real pressing issues at hand? Let's concentrate on the critical things first, not the trivial things. Important things. Like getting tourism stats out for the first 25 days of a month to show how adequate the numbers are for those specific days, and putting up a bronze statue of a controversial ex-boxer.

      And Implementing PATI! (...no, sorry, I made that one up).

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  11. Southampton says:

    The members of the Bermuda Trade Union Congress need their heads examined.
    Their reasoning for this move is absolutely insane.
    Leave things as they are.
    We have celebrated Labour Day at the same time for years.
    Those people whether in government or not who support this move are also insane.

    I think a close look should be made of the Bermuda Trade Union Congress.

    Southampton.

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