Ferry Workers Back To Work After Suspension

March 15, 2013

[Updated with video] The Transport Ministry has confirmed that ferry services remain suspended this morning [Mar 15], marking the second day that the BIU members of the Marine and Ports division have withdrawn services.

This morning a Transport Ministry spokesperson said, “Please be advised that ferry services remain suspended this morning. BIU members will meet at 8 am this morning and an update will be sent when more information becomes available.”

At approximately noon yesterday [Mar 15] ferry workers downed tools and made their way to Union headquarters due to concerns over Government’s plans to charter a ferry from overseas for the summer season.

BIU President Chris Furbert said he sent emails to both Transport Minister Shawn Crockwell and Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy about the situation. He said he did not receive a reply, which he said was very “disrespectful to the BIU.”

In response, Minister Crockwell said that chartering a ferry will cost of $1.2 million, a substantial savings over the $6 million cost of purchasing a new ferry.

“The Millennium is intended to be used as a dedicated Dockyard to St. George’s service with the vast majority of passengers expected to be from visiting cruise ships, although it will also benefit local passengers,” said Minister Crockwell.

“The Millennium, which is intended to be in service for six months, will employ the vessel’s permanent Captain and Engineer, with all other crew being Bermudian..”

Update 2.32pm: Video statement from Mr Furbert today, confirming that ferry workers have gone back to work

Read More About

Category: All, News

Comments (121)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Sandgrownan says:

    Request that the BIU repays the loan/bond that was underwritten by the taxpayers immediately. Then advertise for new M&P staff. Fire them all and make an example of them all.

    • Ben Dover says:

      BIU = Better If Unemployed

      • Black Soil says:

        Get ready for a General Strike. The BIU as they are cannot learn. For them, this is war.

        • O.B. says:

          They really need to get over the PLP’s loss. If anyone is going to stand up to them it will be the OBA. Time to pull a Margaret Thatcher and make them irrelevant. Their unreasonableness asked for it.

        • yup dat rite der! says:

          ok soooo they downed tools because they were disrespected by not receiving an answer to a letter? did i hear him say that there have been management problems for the last 3 years? ummmmm how long has the current minister been in place like 3 months? because of a lack of a response to a letter? come on guys! you feel you desreve a response within 24 hours or down tools? how about the public citizens that depend on the ferry service to get to and from work DESERVE to not have their usual routine disrupted over some childish bull****! how about the parents of the school children that depend on the ferry service to get to and from school DESERVE not to have to worry that their children could be stranded anytime the wind blows up someone’s a**! after all it is the public that pays your salaries isnt it?

    • Verbal Kint says:


    • Out of flight says:

      We don’t need the ferries. Poor attitude and poor service. Plus they run at a loss.
      The workers are lazy as simple as that. They are on Shari J pretending knowing they give such POOR SERVICE.
      Dirt poor.

      • Mark Perry says:

        What a pathetic and unfortunate comment.

        Typical of the majority of the postings here. Stop being a coward and have the courage of your convictions to at least use your real name.

        • Impressive says:

          I agree Mark, the comments are so hate filled and cynical,, They show no respect for the workers, they are all just generalized as being lazy,, just like the they generalize all majority black governments around the world as being Incompetent and corrupt. I thought we have really moved beyond this..

      • When you dont know says:

        and i bet you catch the ferry every day

  2. OZ says:

    There does not appear to be any breach of the collective agreement therefore the workers should not be downing tools and inconvienencing the public!The BIU must understand that issuing demands for responses within 24hrs is NOT good for relations!The public who pay their salarie also need to be respected!!

    • Building a better Bermuda says:

      It funny how the BIU thinks its disrespectful when they don’t get the response they want within 24 hours, but when they don’t respond to governement email requesting consultation feedback within a week there is nothing wrong with that.

      • civil servant says:

        I’ve lost count of the amount of emails I’ve sent and had no response for meetings. But when they want a meeting, LOOK OUT they want you to drop everything and come running down union street. No other union carries on so wreckless. Furbert you dont run the country. If management acted like the BIU, always being impulsive you would be marching with your cheerleading squad down reid street. There is a grievance process in the collective bargaining agreement but YOU guys never follow it, but let it be a discpiplinary measure, you want US(management), to go step by step and not jump to stage 5 and fire people. Its a two way street brother.

        • Bermuda Male says:

          Isn’t it amazing an organization, who claimed 5 working days to respond to the Term Limits was not enough, turns around and goes on strike because a response was not received within 24 hours of them sending a letter to Government.

          This has nothing to do with the workers and everything to do with politics.

          Keep on helping in the further destruction of Bermuda, BIU. Cause the one’s to feel the hurt the most will be their members, first and foremost.

          And guess what the BIU has no money to pay their members (see last issued financials) and yet the members don’t seem to care about where exactly their dues are going.

        • LaVerne Furbert says:

          You are not a civil servant so stop lying. If you are, you are not at the level to request meetings with the BIU. Any e-mails sent to the union requesting meetings are responded to almost immediately.

          • civil servant says:

            Keep on thinking that I’m not a civil servant. I know for a fact that you cannot speak for all of the reps(brothers or sisters) you have that work at the BIU, or have access to their emails….I’d tread carefully if I were you…I won’t stoop so low to start naming names of people but it has happened, and on a few occassions….which is ok, but please do not come on here acting as if the BIU is not guilty of the same kind of behavior. Please ensure your house is spotless before you complain about my housekeeping. Have a nice day.

            • Johnny says:

              First you cannot count the amount of emails that have not been replied but now you admit it has happened a COUPLE of times. A couple means 2.

          • Building a better Bermuda says:

            Have you abided by the media council’s, that you were a member of at the time, demand that you publish that retraction of the misrepresentation you published. When will you have your completed financials to the auditor. The months and years behind that you are on these requests are a disrespect to BIU members, the Bermuda governement and the Bermuda people on a whole. The parents trying to get their children to school for an education, the men and women trying to get to work to pay their bills, to you it’s OK to disrespect them and not bother to give us notice, instead you take money out of our pockets with your petty selfish actions.

            There are procedures in place to deal with issues like the Marine and Ports workers have, without impacting the rest of the community immediately. But then BIU believes that everyone else should abide by the laws, but when they don’t work in the BIU’s favor they simply ignore them. You and the members who have disrespected Bermuda are the shame of this country.

            • Argosy says:

              Well said, BABB.

              But, let’s face it, Laverne, C Furbert et al, have not an ounce of respect for anybody who is not a total BIU bigot with a very limited level of IQ.

              So…mix together ignorance, militant and agressive personalities, fixations on this “respect” thing to the same level as gang-related mentalities and you get…..well, the BIU!!!

              It’s coming down to the wire – this summer will see the whole Island reach the brink and either topple over or break this union for good.

  3. Ringmaster says:

    The cruise lines will be paying close attention to these wildcat strikes as they will likely continue during the summer when the ships are scheduled to be visiting. The BIU will be solely responsible for having cancellations and ships by passing Bermuda. The cruise lines won’t be inconvenienced and take complaints from the passengers, and will merely take their cruises to where they are welcomed.
    The BIU clearly have no idea, or don’t care, that they will be causing many of the members to be unemployed.

  4. Furby Logic says:

    So five days wasn’t long enough for Chris Furbert to reply to the Minister on term limits, but when Chris makes demands and doesn’t get a reply within 24 hours it’s an all out strike?

  5. Family Man says:

    Obviously those that haven’t shown up for work no longer wish to work for Marine & Ports.

    Lets start hiring.

  6. Furbert is an A@# says:


    • yup dat rite der! says:

      i do not understand what the controvercy is. wont bermudians be employed on this chartered ferry? and if it costs 1 million and change isnt that better than spending 6 million on a new ferry? the savings alone will more than pay the salries of those employed on all the ferries wont it? you are acting like spoiled children that cant have their way! grow up! bda govt hire all new staff! try that stuff in new york! you would be fired and replaced by the end of the business day and probably up on charges in court! they have laws here that protect the public as well as the union members! they CANNOT JUST WALK OFF THE JOB!! there are all kinds of talks even court ordered arbitration before that can happen! start printing the pink slips because there are 50 people willing and wanting to work for every one person off the job today! my i please submit my application? serz! where do i apply?

    • When you dont know says:

      yup but cant do the job try it

  7. BIU – doing their best to make sure foreign investors invest in hotels anywhere but BERMUDA

  8. RayMan says:

    Sandgrownan- shut the hell up. If you worked at marine and ports you will understand the situation. Go and get a damn life. But then you are so f**king smart you know everything. Know shi*t before u say anything. Thank you and have a nice day

    • jt says:


      • Concerned says:

        Hey RayMan – you might want to start looking for a new job.

    • Sandgrownan says:

      Perhaps if the previous government had not destroyed the economy, the entire ferry fleet would be running. Perhaps if we were not rebuilding the cruise ship wharf, we wouldn’t need tenders.

      Oddly enough, even the PLP, in a rare moment of clarity, realised that we’d need extra craft this year and the process began to find pne under their watch.

      Every time Furbert flexes his muscles, the stock of unionised workers decreases.

      • Impressive says:

        Sandgrownan,, please please please stop with the nonsense.. The fact that you feel the previous government destroyed the economy ties into your conception that blacks are incompetent, thus you are reluctant to see the trees from the forest.. The PLP made a hell alot of mistakes just like any government makes. No government in this world is without fault, not one.. The economy started declining world wide around 2008. (Does that date sound familiar with you??) If you look at when the Dow Jones and many other stock markets began declining it was circa around that time.. Since we are not another world in the middle of the ocean, our trading with the outside markets is directly related to what goes on globally.. Do you at least agree with that??

        Our International Business consists of two industries; Investment Companies, and Reinsurance Companies.

        (1) Investment Companies- These are companies that are here in Bermuda physically, meaning they have their head offices or holding companies domiciled in Bermuda for Tax purposes. These companies save millions and millions of dollars by being here and not having to pay Corporate Taxes to the US government.. The main function of these companies is to manage the large portfolios of investments (Mutuals funds, consisting of equtities, held to maturities, future, swaps etc). Since all of the stocks etc in these portfolios are directly affected by what goes on the global market (Do you at least agree with that?), therefore the worldwide recession that is taking place and has been taking place over the last 5 years effects the performance of these portfolios. (Does that sound reasonable,, just want to make sure I am not loosing you) These companies are accountable to shareholders, as the primary objective of any public traded company is to maximize share holder wealth.. They are not here to appease us Bermudians, but to make their shareholders richer.. Therefore if the Directors feel that they can move to another location where they can continue to avoid taxes and cut expenses they will move. I really don’t think things such as term limits play a major part in their decision making, because lets face it,, everyone is replaceable, whether you want to believe it or not.

        (2) Reinsurance Companies – Much like investment companies, these companies are here to save having to pay huge amounts to the US Government in taxes, in addition Bermuda has a very good regulatory environment.. Despite the fact that these companies are in the business of insuring or taking a portion of the risk of other companies to help them manage their risks, these Reinsurance companies make the bulk of their profits through investment income.. I would encourage you to read the financial statement of some of these companies.. You will see terms such as Combined Ratios and the like.. To make it simple for you, these companies don’t make a hell of alot of money of their primary business which is insurance/reinsurance. The reinsurance is only a scam (no pun intended) to accumulate the money (cash) so that they can invest that money until the time in which they have to pay losses (or claims) so they hire actuaries so help them price the amount that they charge for assuming this risk and hope that these risks never materialize. Sometimes they don’t and sometimes they do, that is the nature of the business. However much like investment companies, these reinsurance companies make the majority of its profits by investing that cash in portfolios, just like the investment companies do.. Therefore, just life the investment companies, at the end of the day, they are directly affected by the goings on the global stage, (Wall Street),, They also are have to answer to their Directors and work for the shareholders..

        So please please please tell me how the PLP government caused these companies to do so awful in their day to day activities.. I eagerly await your response.

        • Bermuda Male says:

          Dow Jones hit a record high last week, while Bermuda recorded its fourth consecutive year of recession, with a fifth more than likely.

          So much for that 2008 correlation, huh?

          • Impressive says:

            You did say last week right??? smdh

            • Bermuda Male says:

              Why aren’t any of our trading partners or any jurisdiction of similar sizes and economies not experiencing their fourth consecutive year of recession? SMH

              • Impressive says:

                Can you name them?? Since you say similar sizes and economies, you certainly am not talking about Cayman? Oh you may be talking about Luxembourg? or Switzerland? or the wonderful land of Greece?? Wait you did say similar size and economy so many you are talking about Bahamas,, umm no,, that can’t be right,, Well enlighten me,, who are you referring to??

                • Bermuda Male says:

                  I will repeat my question.

                  Please show any similar sized jurisdictions or any of our trading partners which are now going through their fifth (more than likely) consecutive year of negative GDP growth?

                  If you can’t, then please explain why we are? Must be something that we are doing or did wrong.

                  It’s a simple question, one that doesn’t need a discombobulated or emotional response. I mean you did blame our problems on the rest of the world and all.

                  • Impressive says:

                    I can see trying to debate with you is pointless.. I have given you a detailed analysis above. I am not saying that everything I say is right as I am not that arrogant, I only go by the knowledge I have obtained over the years. I did say that the past government had made mistakes as I always try to be objective and less subjective in every thing I do in my life.

                    If you don’t believe that our problems, or at least some of our problems have anything to do with the global recession and they are all directly related to the PLP, then Like I said above trying to debate with you is pointless as you obviously have a distorted opinion or “heaven forbid” agenda.

                    And to say my response was emotional,, well well, I rest my case..

                    • Impressive says:

                      Oh and for the record, to be perfectly honest, I think some of the problems, and let me reinforce the word “SOME” of our problems are attributable to the PLP actually trying to do too much for Bermudians. Whether they did these things to actually help the people or they where just trying to “buy” their votes and remain in power is another story. I guess you will have to ask the former premier that.

                      Here is why I think the past government did too much for Bermudians.. If you are running a business and you are trying to entice more people into your establishment, some companies employ marketing strategies, some of these strategies may involve ie buy two, get one free for example. However if you continue to cut your revenues, while your expenses continue to increase, well you know thats a recipe for disaster..

                      The PLP, cut out too much revenue: Free ferry and bus for some, free day care, free land tax for persons over 65 (I would imagine the majority of land owners are over 65 years old) Free car insurance to persons over 65, Free College tuition at Bermuda College etc. Now why did they think they could afford to give so much away for free. Where they just playing politics and attempting to get people to keep them in power. I don’t know, but I don’t think it was wise and it along with the global recession, which I discussed above has put us in a bad position.

                      So you see, I can be objective, I can call out something when its not right regardless of my political interest, can you do the same?????

            • Bermuda Male says:

              And if its a record high that means higher than pre-2008 now doesn’t it?

    • Fed Up says:

      well well if that’s the kind of language that comes from the mouths of M&P workers I am not surprised at the situation. Can you not have a conversation without getting so rude and just maybe some of the above comments are justified. I have heard so many times from employees of marine and ports how bad the ferries are and they are not maintained etc etc so maybee getting a ferry on lease to run the St Georges Run, which is cancelled most of the time anyway, might give the other ferries a chance to get properly fixed and maintained. If I remember correctly last year was crazy with the ferries in and out of service. Make up your mind what you want for your Island because very soon there will be no coming back. If you all worked in the international business and downed your tools you would be shown the door. It’s called work ethic but then would you know anything about that when you allow someone else to tell you when to and when not to go to work. I have to work for my increase every year not hold people hostage to get it, and believe no one will tell me I can’t go to work, especially Mr. Furburt. It’s called control, and I have control over my own life. Have a Blessed day

      • Do we really ywant Bermuda to Prosper? says:

        Fed Up

        Man did you ever hit the nail on the head.

        Every parent of a child that was stranded on a dock should protest outside of the BIU and demand an apology from Brother Furbert for putting their child’s well being in danger–

        This type of activity is not looking out for our people.

        One must show respect to receive it.

    • Family Man says:

      Let me guess …. you work on the customer service side at M&P?

      Better start updating that resume RayMan. You can include a new skill … fluent in a wide range of four letter words.

      • Fed Up says:

        Actually I don’t have anything to do with the customer service side at M&P

        • Family Man says:

          Sorry, meant that comment for RayMan, not you Fed Up.

          Your name aptly describes my feelings.

    • Serious Though says:

      wonder why people don’t like UNIONS,no common sense, they are just common!

      • Impressive says:

        Most of the people who don’t like unions are business owners who want to take advantage of their employees without these employees having a leg to stand on. A fist is stronger than a finger and Unions have played an important role throughout history in improving working conditions..

        You may be suprised to know that some of the benefits that you are receiving on your current job, came from unions fighting for their workers in the past.. Things such as Health Insurance, Sick Pay, and paid vacation time,, unless of course you don’t like any of these benefits.. Do you think employers just reluctantly began giving workers paid vacation time??? If so I have a pink mercedes benz in my garage, come and have a look at it.

    • Lets Hope says:

      Be lucky you have a job! These wild cat strikes effect us all. And further more if you don’t like the condition where you work QUIT!!! Lots of people looking for work!

      Sick and tired of Bullies!

    • Zombie Apocalypse says:

      Oh Hi RayMan. I use the ferry and I pay your wages. You haven’t been at work for a couple of days. I had trouble getting hoem last night and was late for work today. It’s ok though. Give it a few more days, and I’ll work out a permanent alternative that will mean I don’t need a ferry any more. No more job for you. That’s how life works in the real world.

    • WillSee says:

      Well RayMan, what is the situation?
      Please tell us why the BIU are withholding their labor.

    • Argosy says:


      You must be one of those polite, friendly Bermudians we tell our visitors about!

      Or….are you just having a hard time getting over Dec 17th??

  9. Y-Gurl says:

    Ever notice that the only people withdrawing their labour recently are the ones who have the best conditions an do the least work! Goverment “workers” have the best deal around, gee they get everything laid on for them from embroidered clothing, rainsuits (and they dont ever work in the rain) and W&E even give them little mobile homes to sleep in, This is typical of the BIU to have a group come out despite a BOND AGREEMENT that promises that this wont happen. Goverment: The BIU have defaulted on the agreement and should be held in breach of said agreement and need to pay!

    We really dont care who they (BIU)lends money to and then cant find, thats not our problem, pay back the bond and then you can play your stupid games with immunity.The community is tired of being held to randsom by a dwindling and less effective union who’s leader sounds like he is stuck somewherein 1975 and who take stupid action with no thought about our people, visitors or community. There are many ways to get action on any point and since 1946 the BIU have only figured out one! There are many unemployed Bermudians who would jump at the chance to do that job who could be trained in very short order after all its a boat, not the space shuttle and would do a great job. When you take less than smart advice you can expect a less than great outcome.

  10. sharky says:

    @RayMan.These union members left young children stranded at the ferry dock and others scrambling for a way home. If I worked at Marine and Ports I would hang my head in shame.

    • Fed Up says:

      I agree, but they won’t they will all enjoy a nice long weekend which is probably all they wanted in the first place.

    • Soooo says:

      Exactly…. the BIU should be responsible for any cost incurred by normal ferry travelers. As far as I can see Government is well within their rights to hire this ferry, and have NO obligation to get the unions blessing before they act.

  11. Do we really ywant Bermuda to Prosper? says:

    P A T H E T I C

    The world is watching us–and I am certain they are having a good chuckle at our behavior.

    Sometimes doing the right thing means compromising…

    Come on folks, this is destructive.

  12. Really? says:

    you will have jobs created by it?? what is wrong with you thick headed idiots???

    Please Government do something about it im tired of these people and there infamous leader Chris Furbert attempting to Hijack this island and its people!!!

    This cannot stand disolve the Trade Unions now… all of us in Private industry must stand on our own to feet we must prove to our employers if we are to deserve a pay rise or keep our jobs. These actions are destroying this island and the island for future generations including all these peoples children…


  13. blankman says:

    For the record, the agreement to charter the ferry was reached by the previous government – apparently the PLP was disrespecting the BIU as well.

    • Fed Up says:

      Yes let’s hear the whole story not pat of

    • Augnh... says:

      Come on–that doesn’t count!

    • Dockyard Lackey says:

      Furbert is a clown. The BIU will gain respect once they start respecting the people who pay their wages – the general public.
      King Chris made it obvious with his comments after the general election that he would do anything to bring down the new government.

  14. beavers says:

    furbert jumps on any damn excuse for a strike, and they all jump on board. It really makes you wonder, do any of them value their job or hard work?

    These people do mostly menial work for high pay while the rest of us have to rack our brains doing our jobs for LESS money! Where is the justice?

    It is like Government jobs getting 40 sick day! What gives?! That almost a MONTH AND A HALF per year to be sick. Normal jobs give only 8 days. The PLP grew the roots of laziness in Bermuda!

    I struggle to not go homeless here in Bermuda, doing a very technical job that is very demanding and highly responsible. I don’t even make enough to feed myself every day. I am in the poverty bracket here. You would never know I work in an office amongst the stereotypical rich office people that the BIU is always just jealous of. I go hungry most days and I have to cancel doctor and dental appointments to get by. I have lost 20 lbs from eating so little. DO YOU SEE ME STRIKING!??!?!?! Do you see me ranting and raving like these people in the BIU do?

    These ungrateful people don’t know how good they have it here at those jobs, and they really need to wake up and smell the damn coffee cuz it really irritates people who are ACTUALLY suffering and keep their mouths shut.

    It is better to keep your mouth shut, and to say nothing stupid, than to open it up and remove all doubt. I wish the BIU would live by this. Cuz when they flap their flaps its just flappin crap!

    • Bermuda Male says:

      “t is like Government jobs getting 40 sick day!”

      That is absolutely outrageous! And yet they claim their rights are being infringed. If that is how they feel, they better stay in the public sector because they wouldn’t survive a week in the private domain where yuo are actually held accountable.

    • SOsad1BDA says:

      Honey!! Sounds like you need to send in an application to Oprah (someone who cares), It’s a Strike!!! No one cares about your Personal issues.. u surely have enough free time to come BERNEWS to share your life story.. go Back to work..

      These Comments are PATHATIC ….. At the end of it all you complainers will still be catching the Ferry and paying taxes…

    • Orbit says:

      MERCY!! 40 sick days, wur um gotta sign up at?!!?

  15. Petra says:

    Infantile behaviour. Come on Premier Cannonier, flex your muscles and break this union once and for all – get the bond paid back, sack all those taking this illegal action. There are plenty of qualified boat pilots out there who would run the ferries even if only whilst others were being trained – most of the pleasure boat pilots are still off season!

    Do it – the tourists are watching!

  16. beavers says:

    you bloody bozos will sink this island with your brainless actions!!!!!!!!!! you leave schoolkids and tourists stranded….AGAIN!!!!

    If I ran this country I would FIRE all of you and put some in JAIL!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Former Union Member says:

    Mr. Furbert wouldn’t understand ‘disrespect’ if someone defecated on the steps of the BIU. There is little to no respect from the public for the BIU under his leadership which is predicated on an outdated style of confrontation and demand. Regretfully many of the genuine folks at M&P are being painted with the same brush. They are getting the leadership they voted for but don’t really deserve.

    • Petra says:

      Mr Furbert may struggle to understand the word defecated!

      I completely agree with your comment – but at the end of the day the staff can choose to work or choose to follow his leadership. As a former BIU member myself, I chose to terminate my membership and make my own decisions.

  18. beavers says:

    There was the old definition of “a Bermudian”.

    Now there is a new one.

    The Old Bermudian would built boats, ships, carriages, houses, buildings, bridges, cut limestone quarries, build towns and communities. They would farm, welcome tourists and build our economy. THESE PEOPLE MADE US WHAT WE ARE, but we ARE losing what we ARE.

    The New Bermudian? He is tearing down the history of Bermuda, ruining the image of our island, disregarding our environment, our heritage, he is poisoning and polarizing the minds of youth with slavery-fueled racism, chasing foreign business out of here, slowly leeching the economy down to a grinding halt. The New Bermudian is NOT what the Old one was, and the Old Bermuda is just that now….OLD….gone….history… let’s hope that we can open UP the history books and LEARN from what MADE US GREAT.

    Dumb animals copy one another in group mentality. Smart animals find their way through the maze through solitary application.

    Pioneers are what made any place great. Let’s all learn from this and maybe something good will come of it.

    Remember the fame Bermuda had in its day?

    We had the fastest wooden boats in the world! We helped found America! We were famous for our beautiful island and its quant ways!

    Look at it now…..we have second hand gas guzzlers that cost twenty million dollars each. Our ties to America are not dignified like they used to be – our only real link is some people having OBAMA stickers on their bumpers! And what is Bermuda famous for? Shootings. Reggae concerts. Stranding tourists over and over when they spent their HARD EARNED money to get here and APPRECIATE our little home!


    Or are you going to just get home tonight, crack open a “berr”, and forget about it, helping to pile sand on the island that used once be GREAT.

    • Impressive says:

      The problem with that old Bermuda was that not everybody was getting a fair share of the pie.. Yes we may have had a great history, but don’t forget the nasty part of that history.. Oh I forgot, whenever some of talk about the negative portion of those times, we are accused of being racists or race mongering.. Let’s talk about the Old Bermuda, that would be wonderful, but don’t leave out all the details. tell the entire story..

  19. blah blah says:

    Whilst I don’t trust Shawn as I will always see him as a thief and Michael Fahy is off to a bad start with all of his demeaning comments, I have to agree with the government on this one. Other than the fact that they should have responded but cowards do hide. Privatizing the ferry is the way to go. We may be burdened in the short term but after time we will be much better off. If the BIU continues to advise its members in such a foolish way and the member continue to follow blindly, they should all be made redundant. The sooner they understand that their jobs are not safe the sooner we will have a hard working civil service.

  20. Paradise Reclaimed says:

    Unions used to take pride in their service as skilled workers, and that quality of union labour used to mean a fair wage for good work. Quality of workforce at BIU is never touted, just covering a**es and collecting wages. Shame union quality is never even an issue here. Fire them, rehire the good, replace the dead. Cheers.

  21. Paradise Reclaimed says:

    And free up some mug or sometin’!

  22. Worker says:

    BIU needs a new leader. that guy is a joke

  23. swing voter says:

    I will NEVER catch another ferry until the service is privitized. Bermudians need to show solidarity against the most inept Union and boycott the Ferry service

  24. rubber bong says:

    as i know some of the issues that many of you may not, I think the workers are actually getting a bad rep. It seems to be years of ineffective/incompetent management and their inability to get the maintenance issue under control. I know the ferry pilots and seamen to be hardworking, contentious workers with the best of intentions for the successful running of the service and for the passengers. Just ask the commuters that use the ferries everyday. These guys often go above and beyond. The guys on the ‘front lines’ of Marine and Ports and that are the ‘face’ of Marine and Ports take slams for things which are often out of their control. There’s no sense bashing the pilot and crew for a boarded up window, broken toilet, musty cabin because of an A/C problem, etc, etc. Its the maintenance department whose job it is to fix the problems and management’s job to see that these things are done. All the people on the ‘front lines’ can do is report the issue and then they have done their part. If management insists that the ferry continues to run in an unacceptable state then blame management, not the man at the bottom of the hill. If the mechanics are making band-aid fixes and not addressing the real issue, blame the mechanics. But interesting to note is that Francis RIchardson is the director of Marine and Ports AND and i an engineer but most of the ferry problems are engineering problems…as they say, the fish rots from the head.

    But this issue seems to be about communication and information (or a lack of). The minister said the foreign ferry will be staffed by marine and ports but that information clearly hasn’t been communicated to the workers. I think that may be something important to talk about as there may be liability issues, etc. We don’t know how long staff have been trying to get information out of management before it got to Chris writing letters so lets not pass judgement without all the information and just let them sort it out themselves .

    • Al says:

      Well, it’s obvious to everyone that the government has been totally mismanaged for years. No wonder the ferries are breaking down.

      The Union and Furbert needs to give the OBA more time to fix the mess that the PLP left.

    • Lets Hope says:

      If they were proactive in maintaining the ferries instead of running them until they made the situation worse. I hear it all the time from maintenance dept. They don’t give a rip it’s not their equipment. And yes thanks to the previous Grovernment there is no money!

    • rubber bong says:

      sorry…Francis Richardson is the Director and IS an engineer

    • Furby Logic says:

      The workers may have some valid points, but they need to take responsibility for electing Chris Furbert as their spokesman. The man has cried wolf so often he is a joke.
      If the workers want to be taken seriously, they need to elect someone with basic communication skills.
      The public got rid of the PLP, the union need to get rid of Furbert. Remind me again what percentage of union dues are spent on management salaries? And this is the best man you can get?

  25. Navin R. Johnson says:

    Brother Chris actually said yesterday that the General Public is not aware but the riders are….in his own mind he may think that the Riders of the ferry system side with the BIU….that shows his mentality…let them strike for a week or two and get it out of their system before tourist season…..they will come to their senses if they have any to begin with

  26. I don't get it says:

    I really don’t understand how Furbert gets away with this? Can someone please explain to me?

  27. What is going on? says:

    BIU has got to go……. Bermuda is sick of your disrespectful ways.

  28. Really??? says:

    How much more of this do we have to take?? Come on OBA time to stand up to this fool!

  29. Victor says:

    Here is one possibility – Furbert/Burgess/Brown et al see that a lot of information that shows them at best to be incompetents (and at worst, well we probably all know so no need saying it) is beginning to come out: the shoddy pier in Dockyard, the ferries which do not work, the five million dollar a bed new hospital (do the math), the Bazarian/Club Med mess, the unsaleable condos, the public funds used to prop up the bankrupt BIU, all sorts of oddball fronted companies like Rock Media/Kerwin Communications, etc. So this is the BIU/PLP attempt at a pre-emptive strike – a warning to Government to back off or there will be worse to come – in effect, they are attempting to hide their weakness and Government should now call their bluff.

    • yup dat rite der! says:

      wow! i think you nailed it with that one Victor! well done!

  30. Bermuda Male says:

    I really hope they are not being paid (at least by the taxpayer) for this time off…

  31. Dee says:

    Remember how Margaret Thatcher dealt with the unions back in the 70′s? Remember how Ronald Reagan dealt with the Air Traffic Controllers strike in 1981? That’s how to deal with wild cat strikes. Sack the lot of them and employ those who actually want to work.

    • Bermyman says:

      Agreed, it needs to happen for the sake of the country going forward. Unions are hindering our economic recovery and they are blinded by their own selfish causes and Ignorance. IGNORE THEM AND STOP PAYING M&P WAGES. If the government cave on these people the buses will be next and the civil service will continue to bleed this Island dry.

  32. Ganja mon says:


  33. SoMuchMore says:

    Any Updates Bernews?

  34. Kim Smith says:

    I hope that Bernews can update this article with a statement of Government’s position. There needs to be something significant done once and for all to stop this destructive practice by the BIUplp to disrupt the country for no good reason. Do it now while we are still down. It makes absolutely no sense to spend time, effort and money to build the country up just for it to be held to ransom illegally at the whim of the BIUplp.

  35. Bermyman says:

    Anyone have any idea how much a ferry worker is paid to tie up ropes and hose of decks? $55k a year, 6 hour work day (1 hour lunch), pension, unlimited sick days, 30 days holiday a year. No education or training requirements to get the job.

    No where else in the world would anyone able to enjoy such rich benefits for a job that requires little to no skill set.

    We wonder why our island is going bankrupt when these people are bleeding us dry and then striking.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      I’d question the 6 hour workweek bit , but they probably need the $55K part . Rent , groceries , BELCO , minimum telephone , a small bike with the associated running costs , a few clothes and a pair of shoes once a year and your fckn broke on this island !

      BTW , I’m NOT in favour of this silliness in any way.. The BIU and the PLP are out to do their best to completely destabilise this place and everyone needs to realise this.

  36. dun says:

    Well duh we have to or else we’d get in trouble, youre supposed to follow the rules.

    And its obvious you don’t know how to spell, but your computer/phone doesn’t have spell check?

    PATHETIC. lolol

  37. Amazed says:

    I notice that a lot of people have called for privatisation of the service as if this will mean AUTOMATIC improvement. There are no guarantees that this would in fact improve effeciency. What really needs to happen is that the system of labor relations needs to be improved so as to hold all parties accountable for following the rules. This will mean penalties for those that do NOT follow the rules. Chris is reported as saying that leasing a vessel is equal to privatisation but he is not a lawyer and should first seek legal opinion before supporting certain actions suggested by his members. I hope that these workers are not paid for work not done because while meetings can be held during work hours there are conditions that must be met and agreed to. If they truly believe that they have a just cause, then they should be willing to make the financial sacrifice to achieve their goals.

  38. Bermudian says:

    OBA, do away with the the BIU!!!! Bermuda will be in a much better place.

    • Soooo says:

      @Bermudian… As much I as I would like to agree with you there is a place in Bermuda for unions. The problem is that the BIU management are nothing but a bunch of bullheaded thugs that act like spoiled children.

      Yes workers need representation, but not to the detrement of both employer and employee. Until the BIU has a leader who understands that a business is there to make money for the owners, and that it’s in the best intrest of all parties to work together toward that goal.

      • Bermudian says:

        Well then…FIRE FURBERT! FIRE FURBERT! FIRE FURBERT! If he is going to be a hinderence (sp?) to the growth and productivity of this Island, FIRE him!

  39. Family Man says:

    So the BIU had a ‘meeting’ this morning to tell the verkers they had an agreement with government and the verkers had to go back to work …. at 1:00pm, after their lunch break.

  40. ZuluWarrior says:

    BIU = Blind leading the Deaf!

  41. Building a better Bermuda says:

    This is clearly a wildcat strike, time to call back the Berkeley bond and fine the union for lost revenues and the negative impact this is having on Bermudians. Those of us that are still blessed with a job are working hard to help the country to recover from almost half a decade of recession and financial mismanagement, while the BIU is only working for itself. Time to make it pay for the damage it is causing.

    Worker equity laws are needed to reign in this disrespectful behaviour and take unions to task for actions like this.

  42. Me says:

    FYI BDA has made the American news (USA TODAY) once again due to our special government because they cant do nothing right build wharf that cant be used heyyy wur already in the whole billions of dollars lets just continue cuz money isnt important to our government so lets help some other country benefit from our special governments dumbness.

  43. Somebody's Momma says:

    I wonder why the Minister refuses to meet with the Marine & Ports workers. I thought OBA was going to bring openness and transperency.

    • Bermuda Male says:

      They did meet, as outlined by Minister Crockwell’s statements and confirmed by the BIU, several times.

      Reading is key…

      • Common sense says:

        Actually they didn’t meet on that matter. I heard Chris forget say he hasn’t met with the minister since they assumed power. The workers showed up unannounced to get answers which wasn’t provided back in January 2013. Don’t speak on what you are oblivious or don’t have factual evidence to back your claim we call that slander

        • Bermuda Male says:

          “The Minister added: “The chartering of the Millennium is in no way an attempt to privatise the Sea Express Ferry Service. On the contrary, this vessel will complement and put less strain on the existing fleet and will have zero impact on staffing levels. This initiative was also supported by the Mayor of St. George’s and the President of the BIU M&P Division during a February 7th, 2013 meeting.”

          February 7 2013

          Like I said…reading is key

        • Bermuda Male says:

          “He knows it because this subject was discussed in a Joint Consultative Committee meeting between Marine & Ports management and BIU Division officers held on 30th January 2013 were they discussed the need, the options, and the solution. If that was not enough, weeks ago I also personally met with the President of the Marine and Ports Division of the BIU and told him what we were planning; there was only agreement, no conflict.”

          Just in case you missed it…slander, huh?

          Liars is what we refer to people like you as…

  44. Alvin Williams says:

    those out there who dream that this government the anti-Bermudian regime OBA is going to break this union the BIU need to be reminded that this is not Thacher’s England where that British Prime Minister had her way with the miner’s union; nor is it Reagan’s America where that president fired air traffic controllers. This is Bermuda where the former UBP government in 1981 sort a confrontation with the labour movement and lost that confrontation. We stood our ground and manned the picket lines to defend our union and we will do so again if the need is there.

    • Bermudian says:

      Take a break. The BIU should be fined and Furbert fired for all the illegal actions that take place. The workers don’t even down tools for good reason. In case you forgot or it has esacped your attention we all want to move this country forward positively. Striking every time there’s a dispute is NOT the way to go.

      OBA, show the people of this Island that you REALLY want to move forward and get rid of toxic people who are jeopardizing this Island’s future. By majority of the comments above you have our vote to do so.

    • Edmund Wells says:

      Mr. Williams-

      I’m sure. Given the vast strike fund on the BIU’s balance sheet, accumulated in part from being so frugal in paying its officers, it appears the Union could stay out on strike for minutes, possibly hours, before running out of money to pay striking workers.

      Exactly the same as 1981.

      Wait, what?


  45. And The BS Continues says:

    Stopping work to make a point okay. Stopping work at a time to inconvenience the public who have to get to work. Unacceptable. You can still make your point by stopping work but do it so as not to disrupt the working people. This is a union who is suppose to stand up and put the worker first. Their actions are selfish and self centered. And it shows a blatant disregard for anyone else who is not in their circle of ego maniacs.