BIU President: ‘Minister Is Misleading The Public’

February 5, 2013 | 84 Comments

Minister Fahy is “misleading the public by insinuating” that he participated in a more recent discussion on the Term Limit document produced by the former Minister, BIU President Chris Furbert said today [Feb 5].

“As President of the Bermuda Industrial Union, I am on record as stating that term limits must stay to protect Bermudian workers until the work permit policies in Bermuda are improved upon at the Department of Immigration,” said Mr Furbert.

Yesterday, Government said the Ministry did seek feedback from the unions via the Bermuda Trade Union Congress [BTUC], whose representatives were appointed to the Work Permit Stakeholder Group.

“And with respect to recent claims by the unions as it relates to consultation, the public should know that Mr. Chris Furbert of the BIU and Mr. Anthony Wolffe, a BPSU representative, both represent the BTUC on the Work Permit Stakeholder Group,” the Ministry said.

The debate about Term Limits has been ongoing since Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy confirmed that Government will eliminate the Term Limit Policy last week. The Policy previously restricted work permit holders for working on the island for longer than 6 years without a waiver or exemption.

Mr Furbert’s full statement follows below:

This press statement is intended to clear up my involvement in the Work Permit Stakeholder Group. As President of the Bermuda Industrial Union and a member of the Bermuda Trade Union Congress, I was invited by the then Minister of Economy, Trade & Industry, the Hon. Patrice Minors to participate in the discussion on the draft document entitled “Work Permit Policies 2012”. On October 12, 2012 there was a stakeholder consultation meeting organized by Minister Minors to review the document.

We started the day’s consultation process with the draft document and by end of the day there were some amendments made to the document, so in my opinion it was a work in progress as there was no final document produced by Minister Minors.

It is my understanding that the consensus was as outlined in the document, that “unless the work permit hoider is otherwise exempt he, or she will be limited to a maximum term of ten years, although there were some employers in the room who wanted “term limits” removed.

Minister Fahy is misleading the public by insinuating that I and Mr. Anthony Wolfe, as representatives of the Bermuda Trade Union Congress, participated in a more recent discussion on the document produced by the former Minister.

However we have heard Premier Mr. Craig Cannonier tell the media last week Friday, February 1, 2013 that consultation took place under the PLP Government. Premier Cannonier also suggested that no further consultation was necessary and that “it was time to move swiftly and get this done”.

As President of the Bermuda Industrial Union, I am on record as stating that term limits must stay to protect Bermudian workers until the work permit policies in Bermuda are improved upon at the Department of Immigration.

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Comments (84)

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  1. jt says:

    I choose not to believe Chris Furbert.

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    • here's a thought says:

      me too. what a bully he is. and doesn't seem too bright either. sad.

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    • honestabe says:

      In this instance I choose to believe Mr. Furbert because he's trying to protect all our children future in Bermuda. The OBA made a platform promise to deceive us into voting for change and the change will affect my children, not their children with trust funds and in no need of higher education because granddaddy40thieves made it possible for them. See Tony B always speaking of 40thieves but isn't he a product of the trust fund system?

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      • johnny says:

        We had to decieve you!!

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        • very serious says:

          Nothing has changed. It's acceptable and explanations will be given for their deceptiveness, they are the bosses, they are in charge so anything they do is OK with them and their supporters.

          Bermuda we made a grave mistake, take heed! Look at the blatant way their supporters are mud slinging and so many coming to support the negative. The friends consultants, the end of term limits, the Branco racist bate and this is just the beginning. Keep your note pads open.

          We are in for a serious ride without Vaseline.

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    • Formidable Deviant says:

      Dumb furball, go away please. You are not relevant, never were. It is 2013, your 1970s up the workers nonsense doesn't fly anymore, they all got office jobs.

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    • Staying focus says:

      Once again, an email is not considered a form of consultation. That email was a quick way for Mr. Fahy to cover his “OBA butt”, as he had already made the decision to end Term Limits before the Election. The OBA had that plan months ago. There was no real care to consult any further; it was merely a way to make it look as if the OBA govt was working with the Unions. This is the biggest cover-up and joke that OBA supporters are willing to believe Mr. Fahy's political tactic to support his game. A blind man can see behind the "REMOVE term Limits Card" and more. This is merely a power play by the OBA towards the Unions. Really, and who does it really impact? The WORKERS of this country.

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      • Familiar says:

        You will note that Mr. Furbert does not deny receiving the email. He only denies being recently consulted on the matter. Perhaps had he taken the time to respond, even if it had been to protest the deadline for the input, he would be taken more seriously in this matter.

        If you are given an opportunity but fail to respond, it is not particularly becoming to then blame those who offered the opportunity.

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      • laughingtothebank says:

        Notice the trend.

        Crockwell got called out and lied.

        Brangman got called out for a lie.

        Branco just spoke from his hearts of hearts regarding people.

        Fahy got called out and lied.

        OBA was started on a lie.

        Craig saw the plan that was stolen from the UBP, was it the bait that enticed him?

        The one promised they kept was that if the plan was followed to the T they would win government and Craig with all his flaws and inexperience would be Premier.

        Not sure they told him the duration of his tenor though.

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  2. Verbal Kint says:

    Did you get the e-mail, Chris? And if so, what did you do about it?

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  3. Mad Dawg says:

    So no mention of the unanswered email then, when he was asked for his opinion, and he failed to respond.

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    • nuff respect not says:

      Give me a effin break. You send an email to discuss such an important topic not set up meeting with a phone call. These ministers are having their cake and eat it too. getting the big part time bucks and making loads of dosh making deals for friends and families. No better. lets vote them out sooner rather than later.

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      • Mad Dawg says:

        It's such an important topic that Furbert and Shine couldn't be bothered to respond. They are either stupid or incompetent. It must be one of those.

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  4. SoMuchMore says:

    Chris likes to be in the news 'so much more' than others and can't even speak smh. The first time I heard him speak I turned him off and he represents people and businesses smh wozzers!

    Chris come back and talk to us after you pass english class and present your case... until than, I wont listen to anything you say regardless if you are in the right or wrong LOL

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    • Webster says:

      I wonder why he always is so angry ? and most people do not understand a word he is saying.

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      • Vhy In De Vorld says:

        Would someone at the BIU please step up an elect a better representative for the members and the BIU. Can anyone else be expected to work with him or stand to listen to him speak publically and without a Um Um Decoder?

        His heart might be in the right place but public speaking is not his strength and with as many press conferences as he has, I think we can agree that is not going to get any better.

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        • whatever says:

          I'm sure that his heart is in the right place while he's getting expensive spa treatments at the nice hotels, driving around in his flash car and ----. Not.
          He's bled his people dry and he don't care. No doubt there are other members of the BIU who can do a better job of representing their members (and in English, for a change). I think maybe the union has a heart, but CF I am pretty sure does not. BIU definitely need a better leader.
          Peace Vhy.

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  5. bermydude says:

    Chris go get a life!!! Your the biggest a...... in this Island!! Get lost!!

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  6. tired of the petty people says:

    Why does this guy get so much airtime - he can barely string a sentence together.

    All he seems to do is contradict everyone else and insinuate racist remarks. His support of idiots who drink and operate ferries, skive off the job when they are meant to be delivering mail and who know WHAT the bus driver did who got reinstated. He seems to support those who break the law. If he really is a unionist, why not support getting people into jobs who are going to work properly and not break the law - there are enough jobless here without him supporting those who do not deserve one.

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    • SoMuchMore says:

      well i know if i ever get fired for drinking on my job, stealing or being late i know i could ask him to stand up for me cause he sure would. to top it off i better say i am plp cause i would deff be on his side LOL

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    • Staying focus says:

      @ Tired of pety people..... Racism Remarks, give me a break. WHere have you been? The OBA fans write the most disrespectful and racist remarks on the blogs daily. You must be sleeping when it comes to the OBA folks, they spit out more hateful and degrading comments than anyone. Really, do not make me laugh. Most of the comments by OBA are more than petty, they are outright rude and disrepectful, as your Minister Fahy also pointed out. I think you agree with me, after all Mr Fahy does !!

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  7. stop giving this man press coversge says:

    This man is the plague.

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  8. Clive Spate says:

    Chris,you got an email asking for a response. By all accounts you didn't, not even to go on record to object or request more time. That is what you are paid to do. You missed the deadline for action and are whinging in public (again). If you cannot do your (overpaid) job then let allow someone more capable.

    You are a disgrace to the BIU and the struggles all unions have gone through to accomplish.

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    • Vhy In De Vorld says:

      He is used to missing deadlines. This is the same group that was 10 YEARS behind on their financial statement.

      He knows nothing about running a business, or at least a successful one. All that the previous leaders created in the name of the BIU he has lost. I didn't always agree with everything Bro Otti did or said but I respected him and his reasons for it. By Chris Furbert being 10 years behind in financial filings, protecting intoxicated ferry driver and bus drivers, rude bus drivers, KFC drama and all of the other stupid and unlawful strikes I don't think anyone outside the union respects it anymore. There certainly aren't to many that haven't been negatively impacted by one of his illegal and power driven meetings and strikes.

      My father and I were both BIU members who even shopped at he CO-OP. I am no longer a member and will not even consider it again until someone else takes over. I won't even get gas at their station anymore or see a movie at the very theatre my money helped build.

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  9. Jim Jones says:

    Mr Furbert - the PLP Government are on record as saying the term limit policy was not about protecting Bermudian workers but rather to solve the problem of PRC's and the status (or lack thereof) of their children.

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  10. Ringmaster says:

    Few people care what he thinks. People want jobs and Bermuda doesn't have the luxury of choice, or telling employers what they need to do to set up here. Those days are long gone. The hospitality industry and International Business will not invest if there are restrictions or barriers, they will go elsewhere and these days there are many locations that welcome them.
    Bermuda has to go out of its way to encourage employers. That means as little red tape as possible.
    If the BIU began to start businesses and employ people then they might be taken seriously. Until that time, which will never happen, thank those employers who are here.

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  11. Concerned. says:

    Its people like Chris Furbert, who have put our Island in the state that it is in now.
    Its people like Mr Fahy that have been tasked to get us out of that state. Well done Mr. Fahy.

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  12. Ringmaster says:

    I forgot to mention that up to 1998 there were many job categories off limits to non Bermudians to protect those jobs for Bermudians. Since 1998 those jobs have been opened to non Bermudians. This has nothing to do with term limits but everything to do with the then Government flaunting the restrictions and giving out work permits. Where was the outcry from the BIU then?

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  13. who's lying says:

    No surprise the OBA is lying, they been doing it since the election.

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  14. Just Wondering says:

    Here is something interesting to think about
    " I am on record as stating that term limits must stay to protect Bermudian workers until the work permit policies in Bermuda are improved upon at the Department of Immigration"

    His words and the way I read it, if Department of Immigration improves / actually follows policies on work permits then the need for term limits is not there. So assuming that the Minister is in fact going to get his ministry in shape then the removal of the term limits is okay.

    Or am I reading to much into things??

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  15. MJ says:

    Chris, If you are so concerned about protecting Bermudian workers why did you say nothing while your PLP Paula Cox handed out work permits like confetti as the Minister of Labour,Home Affairs and Public safety ?
    Crawl back under your rock and take that other wind bag Lavern with you.

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  16. Nuffin but de Truth! says:

    furbert you are the worst liar in Bermuda.

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    • M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

      After you !

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    • Staying focus says:

      Sounds a little like your Minister Mr Dunkley on the Lets talk last night on TV, he told many mis-truths, but guess you were not smart enought to pick up on it ahah? Really!! Hey and what about the lies MR Brangman is telling about his credentials? Oh guess thats okay because he is OBA aha?

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    • Staying focus says:

      SO is your Minister of Education, Mr Brangman. Looks like the OBA are willing to cover-up his mis-truth at any price, yet call other out on anything. Really, OBA your showing your true colors now. Lack of transparency. OBA promised they would review this policy for 2 years, now lying and stopping it all together, which is the bigger lie? Guess your Blind to the what the OBA does, keep your eyes close.

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  17. O.B. says:

    Chris, the reason you didn't participate in a more recent discussion is because YOU DIDN'T RESPOND TO THE MINISTRY's EMAIL! What don't you get? That is beyond scary.

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  18. bs says:

    Audit the BIU! Enforce the law!

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  19. Suspicious says:

    Union members should demand a independent audit of their union ACCOUNTS!!!

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  20. Fairytalesr4kids says:

    Im so disappointed that there is no video for this statement. I love watching this man talk. What a wonderful public speaker.

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  21. sonso says:

    lol, so he is now saying that there was a document, but that it wasnt "agreed" upon but it wasnt quite right.. this is the kicker and the base of this uproar:

    "It is my understanding that the consensus was as outlined in the document, that “unless the work permit holder is otherwise exempt he, or she will be limited to a maximum term of ten years, although there were some employers in the room who wanted “term limits” removed."

    It is my understanding that you dont know what you are talking about mate!

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    • Just Wondering says:

      I noticed what he said which leads me to think he does know what he's talking about and is just hoping to confuse every one else, that or some one is feeding the bs

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  22. Michael says:

    He is as bright as a 5watt light bulb!

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  23. Bobmarlin says:

    The PLP put Bermudians out of work,by allowing thousands of work permits.The BIU and Furbert said nothing.
    The OBA will have to undo the damage the PLP/BIU carried out!

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  24. LaVerne Furbert says:

    Minister Fahy "The recent online blogs and talk radio shows have been rampant with this negative rhetoric being targeted at our non-Bermudian workers. Mind you, it’s only a select few fanning the flames of negativity, but it only takes one or two individuals for the comments to eventually snowball into something that translates into Bermudians being perceived as anti-foreigner."

    What blogs has he been reading? Certainly not Bernews, or the Royal Gazette for that matter.

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    • Come Correct says:

      The writing was on the walls...

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    • jt says:

      Actually Laverne - he probably was reading Bermews and the Gaxzette "it’s only a select few fanning the flames of negativity, but it only takes one or two individuals for the comments to eventually snowball into something that translates into Bermudians being perceived as anti-foreigner" - that seems to fit just right....and he would seem to be speaking about you and about 5 others. Hopefully our foreign friends are becoming wise to this and know that things are changing with a new, better government.

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      • Grubster says:

        Thanks for this. But also to Laverne, Bermuda IS anti foreigner. Let's not forget the anti Filipino graffiti at bus stops etc, and people are always banging on about expats taking the jobs. I would love the Dept of Immigration to produce the numbers of Bermudians applying for jobs at Buzz, waiter jobs at small restaurants like Tio Pepe or even how many Bermudian nurses didn't get jobs because of expats.

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    • whatever says:

      Pardon?

      Are you for real?

      You are the prime source and/or instigator of pretty much all the anti-foreigner rants on both of those sites!

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  25. Vulpes says:

    Furbert - call a general strike and let's see how many of your members pay any attention to you.

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  26. Grubster says:

    As Chris Furbert states "I am on record as stating that term limits must stay to protect Bermudian workers until the work permit policies are improved upon at the Department of Immigration".

    Firstly, term limits don't protect Bermudian workers, only work permits do. Secondly, if the Dept of Immigrations is in such a shambles, why didn't the previous government do something about it.

    Term limits was a pile of rubbish. Lots of expats here for 10 yrs plus. Also lots of expats here for 6 yrs only to be replaced by other, different expats.

    Ex pat friend works in blue collar industry. No qualified Bermudian has applied for his job in the last 5 yrs.

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  27. Staying focus says:

    "This decision was made by the OBA before the Election was called" It was merely a Cover-my butt knee-jerk response by Mr Fahy and the OBA"

    Once again, an email is not considered a form of consultation. That email was a quick way for Mr. Fahy to cover his “OBA butt”, as he had already made the decision to end Term Limits before the Election. The OBA had that plan months ago. There was no real care to consult any further; it was merely a way to make it look as if the OBA govt was working with the Unions. This is the biggest cover-up and joke that OBA supporters are willing to believe Mr. Fahy’s political tactic to support his game. A blind man can see behind the “REMOVE term Limits Card” and more. This is merely a power play by the OBA towards the Unions. Really, and who does it really impact? The WORKERS of this country.

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    • Nurse says:

      Well F.Y.I: I am one of those Bermudian nurses underemployed not employed full time waiting for a contract workers contract to end! But I guess in this global economy no one wants to leave their job so here I wait.....patiently! What do you say about that!!!!!!!

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      • johnny says:

        @ Nurse, most of these commentors don't care about your situation because you are a real Bermudian with a real issue. they will scroll over your comment, as it represents the truth and is exactly the opposite of what they really support, instead looking to attack with the venom of 1000 cobras anyone who has a different opinion.

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    • Verbal Kint says:

      focused

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  28. Serious though says:

    Chris, you are hurting unions, stop it! All you do is pick fight with govt, Chris, govt is people they made their choice, OBA, work with people govt, stop self EGO, ..21sq mile, we know who you are...ssssssshhhhhh, ya .. We can tell you tales in more than 1000 words....

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  29. Andrew Carmichael says:

    Not to comment on the removal of term limit policy, but of politicians. This is my view. If what has been said is true, word for word, then the overt mixing of facts to create a slanted truth is alive and well. Personally, I am not impressed by politicians. Honorable, integrity, honesty, are not the words I would use to describe our "Leaders". You will note that I always post under my real name, because I stand up for what I believe in.

    This is only the beginning for this "New" party at the helm. I expect a lot more back room deals, masked as studies and consultations. I earn a meager paycheck, which I am of great need. However, I will gladly hand it over to the person that can find me an honest politician, that is beyond reproach!

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  30. Familiar says:

    Dear Mr. Furbert, thank you for your sharing your input in the matter. I, respectfully, disagree with your assessment.

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  31. Johnny says:

    One would think that if an email was sent to announce a meeting of great importance, and no one responded, that the organizer of such an important meeting that is going to affect Bermudaa so greatly, would pick up the phone and make sure that all parties did in fact receive the email.

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    • Mad Dawg says:

      But everyone responded. Except for the two lazy incompetent dumbasses who were the union reps. Everyone else responded.

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    • OZ says:

      I agree with you. It is also clear by the Premier's satement that he believed that proper "consult" was given years ago", that the OBA had no real intention of consulting anyone other than the select few.I have yet to see any evidence that this is going to create jobs!

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      • Mad Dawg says:

        But the "select few" included the unions. And the unions failed their membership when they failed to respond. They're either incompetent or stupid, take your pick.

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  32. concerned local buisnessman says:

    I really feel The Industrial Union should be imbarressed to have a Man like Chris Furbert representing them .The man can't string two sentences together, he is a show man he does no good for the BIU . Wake up BIU this is 2013 .The PLP are the reason we have so many depleteing local buisnesses and unemployement. You all can thank the arrogance of Col Burch for ruining the only money maker out of bermuda .International buisness was our only saving grace . So now we need a mechanic to fix these problems ,and that mechanic is OBA . We need our peace of paradise to flourish again and Black and white can prosper like we use too . Reality is Bermudians our country was crumbling around us under the PLP goverment, so lets give this new party a chance ,and in 1 years time look and see what they have achieved for our country.

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  33. Please Leave Politics says:

    On my job, I am held accountable for information that is passed on to me. If I don't respond to an email or don't follow a directive, I am held liable for any consequences that may occur.

    I'm sorry Mr. Furbert, but you were given 5 days to respond to the email. You didn't do your part and therefore responsible for your current situation.

    Had you responded and demanded a meeting; and the minister had ignored your plight, then I would support your cause. However, you CHOSE not to do your job and you need to be held accountable.

    Union members should really be pissed off with Mr. Furbert and demand that he be held accountable for not doing his job when it mattered.

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  34. Bermyman says:

    What does Chris and the BIU have to do with Term limits which seemingly only affect international business personnel? Last time I checked there were no term limits issued to bus drivers, dock workers or even KFC workers for that matter. This man failed to respond to the e-mail and consult with the Government. It is his own fault for not having his finger on the pulse, if not his purpose in this matter is to distract and disrupt. He wants to disrupt the country's economic recovery every which way he can. The Government now need to take the BIU to task over their finances, in which they have not met the requirements for several years now and therefore are betraying their members.

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  35. god1st says:

    A.I.G to make job cuts. blaaammme iiiiitttt oooonnn theee raiiinn yeahhhhh yeahhhhhh

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  36. god1st says:

    @ Please leave politics obviously accountability doesn't exist with in yourself. What are you doing blogging on bernews during working hours. You must think your position is secure in this company

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