BIU: ‘KFC Taking Low Road, Is Bullying Staff’

May 21, 2013

chris furbert biu president bermuda 2KFC Bermuda “have taken the low road” and “are bullying staff in what the BIU believes is a direct attempt to oust the remaining Union members from its ranks with unsavory tactics,” said Bermuda Industrial Union [BIU] President Chris Furbert today [May 21].

Mr Furbert said, “Kentucky Fried Chicken Bermuda Limited together with KFC Operations Limited have taken the low road in its ongoing dispute with the BIU.

“Instead of abiding by the law and taking lawful steps to see to it that this dispute is handled correctly and within the bounds of the law, KFC has decided to do, what appears to be, the opposite. They are bullying staff in what the BIU believes is a direct attempt to oust the remaining Union members from its ranks with unsavory tactics.”

“In December 2011 KFC Bermuda Limited took it upon its self to treat the collective bargaining agreement between KFC and the BIU, and the rights afforded to the KFC Bermuda Limited employees under it as void.

“As a result, KFC Bermuda fundamentally changed the terms and conditions of employment for its workers and attempted, under penalty of termination of their employment, to force those workers to be employed by a new company. That new Company was KFC Operations Limited. We believe this was an attempt by KFC Bermuda Limited to avoid its obligations to the BIU and the CBA.

“The BIU instructed its attorneys to seek an injunction from the Supreme Court to stop KFC from making any further attempts to force its employees to sign on with KFC Operations Limited,” continued Mr Furbert.

“This injunction was successful and has been in place since 7 June 2012. KFC’s attorneys have never applied to Set aside the injunction which will remain in place until further order of the Court.

“Despite an injunction being in place, we have been told by workers at KFC Bermuda Limited at a meeting held this morning, that KFC Bermuda Limited and/or KFC Operations Limited are breaching the terms and conditions of employment of KFC Bermuda Limited employees.

“They are refusing to pay the employees for the time they have worked and attempting to withdraw overtime benefits from the employees without their agreement and placing unreasonable conditions on employees who are affiliated with the claim against KFC Bermuda Limited on issues such as overtime, dates of work and requests for vacation.

“In action number 188 of 2012 KFC Bermuda Limited tried to block the decision of the Minister to refer the dispute between the BIU and KFC over the terms and conditions of KFC workers to a tribunal for resolution. KFC Bermuda Limited argued that the Minister was wrong and that the referral was contrary to its constitutional rights,

“The Chief Justice ruled against KFC on every single one of the points it raised during the hearing in February 2013. Directly after that hearing, KFC attempted to spin the result by saying that, despite the Chief Justice making an order that the dispute should go before the Tribunal, they had somehow been successful in their claim.

“In April 2013 KFC tried to make a similar argument at the hearing on the issue of costs. The Chief Justice ruled against KFC and ordered that the costs incurred by the Government and those of the BIU should be paid by KFC Bermuda Limited to the extent that the costs each party are not duplicated. KFC has to pay the BIU’s costs.

Mr Furbert continued, “Since the reference to the Tribunal in May 2012 was made the BIU has had to force KFC Bermuda Limited to abide by the terms and conditions of employment with its workers by Court Order [injunction] and has fought off KFC’s hopeless challenge to the Minister’s decision to refer the matter to tribunal with resounding and clear success.

“Instead of preparing for the tribunal which is due to come on for a preliminary hearing next week, KFC has taken a more underhanded approach to matters.

“In actions No. 212 and No. 188 the BIU submitted affidavit evidence against KFC Bermuda Limited given by the Chief shop steward Sis. June Douglas. On 13 May 2013 Sis. June Douglas’ employment with KFC Bermuda Limited was terminated by Jason Benevides.

“Sis. June has had recent health challenges which have resulted in temporary partial vision impairment in one of her eyes. She is temporarily disabled. KFC Bermuda Limited say that because of Sis. June’s disability they can no longer employ her.

“We have sought advice from our attorneys and take the view that KFC Bermuda Limited’s actions in this regard are unlawful and in breach of the Human Rights Act 1998.

“The Act requires an employer to accommodate a person suffering from a disability with work so long as there is no undue hardship.

“It is a strange coincidence that Sis. June, Chief Shop Steward at KFC, primary witness in both actions against KFC and supporter of the Bermuda Industrial Union, should be turned out of her employment with KFC Bermuda Limited after more than 30 years of unblemished service because of a disability.

“We think there is something more to this story and have instructed our lawyers to get to the bottom of it. An action against KFC Bermuda Limited will commence shortly. KFC Bermuda can explain its distasteful behaviour to the Judge,” concluded Mr Furbert.

The dispute between the Union and KFC Bermuda has been ongoing since 2011.

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Comments (73)

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  1. Ian says:

    Oh give it a rest already….KFC is going to close down. Then what are you going to do Furball?

    • frank says:

      kfc is trying to bust the union what they are doing is nothing new

  2. Bermy Boy says:

    Holy moly Furburt, just saw you on ZFB. You can’t read man! You are supposed to be the voice of your people, and you can’t speak for s#$t! And leave the
    Brother/Sister business alone, what are we in Cuba? Seriously this man is a joke. If you choose to be respresented by him, take a long hard look at yourself.

    • here's a thought.... says:

      you are hilarious!! and totally right – how he stays in that position is truly one of the great mysteries of the universe……

      • SMH says:

        He read a lot better than the idiots voted into the HOA, have you listened to them? Bascome, Sousa et al.

      • Sorry Sir says:

        blah blah blah Workers rights
        blah blah blah compensation
        blah blah blah slavery
        blah blah blah plantation

        That’s how he keeps his position. Get the point?

    • Raymond Ray says:

      Bermy boy, I agree…If someone where to be representing me with them types of reading skills I would be feeling, “- ucked” Were you drunk bie’? I have never in all my years heard a representative of any Union speak soooo poorly!

      • Independent says:

        @ Raymond Ray,

        I read many of your comments, and respect your opinion. However on this (even though you are correct about his speech), you didn’t comment on the article. We all know Chris is a special guy, but as a thinking person, you can stop an notice the speech, but don’t miss the message bra.

    • Well said says:

      Well said….and funny too. Grumpy Cat is Grumpy!

    • Independent says:

      @ Bermy Boy,

      I have to agree with you about his speach, but if that is your focus, you missed the real point. How about commenting on the article, not the messenger?

  3. Nuffin but da Truth says:

    bullyng people is what you TRY to do furburt,but you don’t frighten anyone!
    the biu and the plp are FINISHED!

  4. Chaos Theory says:

    Blah, blah , blah blah , blah

  5. SoMuchMore says:

    and you bully Bermuda.

  6. Rockfish#1 says:

    When will this charade end? The lawyers must be laughing all the way to the bank(s)

  7. Soldier says:

    Chris,lets go to Vegas bie. Hand open…….

  8. Hey says:

    Why is this news?

  9. Mr. Chris Furbert may not be the best suited for the position he holds,but if we allow the union to be busted and done away with as others suggested above. It will be a terrible mistake and a sad day in history, as there are to many that fought for the rights of the working class people.

    The union crosses all racial barriers irregardless of what people think.whites,blacks,portugese and all nationalities have enjoyed the benefits of the unions of this country, and I say all unions of this country.

    The B.I.U is known for their share of mistakes and in no way would I say they have always done the best on behalf of its members,but I would not like to see a Bermuda without a union that represents the working class citizens.

    So keep K.F.C in check and I think there are employers and companies in this country that are far worst then K.F.C and the union keepin it stance gives us the opprtunity to deal with those same employers that need to be dealt with in due course.

    • Soooooo says:

      I agree we need unions, but not a union that downs tools and marches at the drop of a hat….. I want to see the day that the Union calls a meeting on Saturday (or evening) so not to effect the general public.

      Chris would have been fine as a Union Leader 30 years ago, his style is doing nothing but diminishing the bit of respect people have for the. They need to grow up and work with employers to keep people employed, no drive businesses to closure.

  10. Garry Marshall says:

    Chris Furbert is SOOOOOO full of it, really when ever do the so called union abide with the law?????????
    Him and a few others like to hear themselves make an as% of themselves.

  11. whereislaverne says:

    Where is the other half of tweedle dumb and tweedle dumber? Laverne “8 votes” Furbert is unusually quiet.

  12. Um Um Like says:

    Is labor really in such short supply that we need to pay people overtime to cook chicken?!

  13. Time Shall Tell says:

    This all would be a none issue with no need for any union if only companies would treat their workers fair in the first place. You want to kill the union? Make it so there’s no need for the union in the first place.

    • jt says:

      Have you seen the pay/benefits/holidays KFC workesrs get – they are more than fairly treated….it borders on ridiculous for a fast food job.

      • Independent says:

        @ JT

        Have you seen the price of KFC fast food? It goes beyond ridiculous.

        And lets be real mate, people working there are not pulling big salaries, so please don’t act like they are lol.

        • jt says:

          Should they be pulling in big salaries? No. They are cooking chicken, but they do very well given the nature of the job and relative to other like businesses in Bermuda. No lol about it.

  14. OMG says:

    And please tell me “who is taking the low road” in this dispute? If the BIU do not get it their way a strike is called or a meeting during the middle of the day???

  15. Triangle Drifter says:

    Bullying. Now there is something the BIU is expert on.

  16. Mad Dawg says:

    I notice Furbert is suddenly very interested in the Human Rights Act. I didn’t notice him saying anything last week in support of people who will soon be protected by the Act. Maybe he thinks no union members are gay.

  17. Johnny says:

    As usual you fools have nothing to say about the issue at hand. You hide behind your silly nicknames and attack people. No one cares that KFC is breaking all the rules here. We have people’s livelihoods at stake here and all you idiots care about is trying to degrade people that you either don’t know, or would never treat like this if you were 1 on 1 with them. Bunch of immature freaks!

    • Soooooo says:

      who told you that the union wasn’t breaking any rules?

    • Independent says:

      @ Johnny,

      LOL SO TRUE. Totally missed the message, and attack the messenger. I’m waiting for the people who have attacked Chris to speak to the issue at hand.

  18. Paradise Reclaimed says:

    Where else in the world is a gig at a fast food joint a unionized labour career? It’s entry level labour that should be a stepping stone or dead end. It requires skilled labour by no means.

    • I have to say it this way,either you are a very young person or a very assignign one.many of our granfparents never finish school or even had the oppurtunities to graduate or further their education.

      It is these same grandparents who became home owners with limited education,it was our same grandparents that work two and three jobs to make ends meet and pave the way for sorry asses like you.

      To think we can continue to exploit workers in this 21st century is a joke and an under statement and your stupid comments are very disrespectful to those who are struggling to make ends meet and are being taken advantage of by their employers.

      So until life knocks you in your ass,try to learn what life really is for those who do not have the pleasures you may have.

      • Also let me add that if you do a back ground check on some of those employess at K.F.K , they are very educated people with degrees and good paying full time jobs. K.F.C happens to be their second job and that is due to the fact we live in a country that is over priced,and killing its people throught them having to work two and three jobs just to survive.

        You can look at the market places,hotels and restaurants and you woul dfind the same situations. so we are not just standing for K.F.C, but for all employees in every sector of the working class populations.

        • Zombie Apocalypse says:

          So their kfc jobs aren’t their careers. They are all highly educated, just doing this after in addition to being partners in law firms, accounting firms, management consultants, or their jobs as reinsurance actuaries. Is that what you’re saying now?

          • Independent says:

            @ Zombie Apocalypse,

            Don’t be such an ass! If you can’t read between the lines, maybe you need to go back to school. No where in his comment did you see all. I see why you call yourself Zombie lol

  19. SMH says:

    Exactly what is unfair about this government and their supporters. They are red eye blinded.

  20. Bermuda Boy says:

    Furbert, if you are going to take all day to write a statement regarding KFC, read it a few times before you go on tv and make a fool of yourself, like you have done. I know 5 year olds that can read better than you.

    • LaVerne Furbert says:

      Maybe Mr. Furbert can ask you to read press statements for him the next time around.

      • Zombie Apocalypse says:

        Would you suggest he reads it in an Elmer Fudd voice, as favoured by Mr Furbert?

      • Family Man says:

        Might as well get someone to read it for him, he has to get someone to write it for him.

  21. The Ombudsman makes a statement and says:

    KFC can afford to pay their employees bottom line but greed consumes the hearts of men

  22. Victor says:

    I think KFC Bermuda’s customers will ultimately decide what happens in this dispute. If they feel strongly enough that the BIU employees have been hard done by, they will show support by shopping elsewhere – IMHO, Fat Chance.

  23. tricks are for kids.... says:

    Amazed that everytime that there’s a Union issue Chris is always PERSONALLY attacked, instead of looking at the issues at hand…..If YOU are not employed by KFC than you don’t know what is going on behind closed doors….Chris is NOT the BIU he WORKS for THE MEMBERS…..

  24. swing voter says:

    Ma is a staunch Unionist but asked me to stop by KFC last night and pick her up a 2 piece meal. LOL nobody cares because those entry level jobs are for teenagers not hairy azz grownups!!!!

    • Independent says:

      @ Swing voter,

      That’s a childish statment. Becareful how you speak, never know where your future lies.

      And you are disrespecting the people who work there. I hope you feel like a man now.

  25. Look Who is Talking says:

    You people have the nerve to say Mr Furbert can’t talk properly, but the Premier can’t either. I literally cringe when he speaks, every other word out of his mouth is “Uh”, sometimes several in a row. He has a big bucks press secretary, and can’t even make a simple speech without it being peppered with “Uh, uh, uh…”

    • JMad says:


      Leaders on both sides of the aisle and the other institutions really need to work on their speaking capabilities.

    • Nuffin but da Truth says:

      which is much better than hearing “clearly” in every sentence as the former and soon to be defunct plp premier did.

    • swing voter says:

      hahahah I find that when someone pauses with ‘um uh ah’ this indicates that they want to ensure what comes out of their mouth is unoffensive, and accurate. Very tough to juggle those requirements simulteneously. BTW if you ever heard Price Charles speak, you’ll realize that ‘umm ahh uhh’ is not an impetiment restricted to our shores ;-)

    • Say no says:

      Maybe quite a few of our leaders should have taken Nell Bassett up on her class. She wanted to teach these people how to speak proper. How can anyone take you seriously when you say words like “bie,dat, dey, dem,dee. Some of our Bermudians are an embarrasment to listen to. I sometimes wonder what the leaders of other countries think when they talk to them.

  26. Former Union Member says:

    One of two things will eventually happen in this sorry affair:
    1. The BIU will pack up their tent and slink into the night, or
    2. KFC will close it’s doors and the good employees they are trying to support will be without a job.

    I would not include ‘Sister’ June in my concern for the employees who are trapped by the Union suposedly representing them. Unfortunately you very often get the leaders you deserve.

    • Verbal Kint says:

      Unfortunately #2 seems to be the logical course. The courts seem determined to protect the union, even to the detriment of the public. KFC will eventually run out of options or the money available to fight this. When it becomes untenable, they will close.

  27. Look Who is Talking says:

    @Swing Voter, my point exactly. Don’t get me wrong, Furbert isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, but it’s childish and unfair to poke fun at his speech impediment.

    • LaVerne Furbert says:

      I dare you to compete with Chris Furbert when it comes to numbers/figures. I can tell you that he is a genius.

      How many of you saw “The King’s Speech”? May be you should watch it.

      • Clive Spate says:

        Maybe he should work on the accounts then.

        • Clive Spate says:

          Here’s a sum for you to pass on to Mr. Genius:

          Annual membership fee x number of members x number of years since accounts last published.

          Might need to use standard form to express that number.

      • Truth is killin' me... says:

        I will second that LaVerne Furbert…Mr. Chris Furbert is a beast when it comes to numbers. I didn’t see “the King’s Speech” but I saw him on ESPN on the World Series of Poker and I was highly impressed! Genius indeed…at poker that is.

      • Zombie Apocalypse says:

        “….he is a genius…”. Hilarious! Good one LaVerne.

      • jt says:

        So what is the hold up with the BIU finacials……or perhaps that is part of the genius?

      • Say no says:

        Laverne get a life the Plp kicked you in your butt and you are still stuck up under them

      • Building a better Bermuda says:

        if he is so good with numbers, how come the BIU is so far behind in producing theirs??

      • finally........ says:

        Chris Furbert is now a GENIUS???

        WOW. who knew?

    • Impressive says:

      Not only that it completely misses the point of the story.. Yes Mr. Furbert is a terrible public speaker and he doesn’t articulate his thoughts good at all, to say the least. Saying that, I don’t know what type of administrator he is, as he must be effective to remain in that role for the people who put him there to constantly overlook his clear weaknesses..

      But,, what is amazing is the way the people are putting down the Union or the concept of Union Representation.. Its amazing.. The Unions have been fighting hard for workers rights for decades both in Bermuda and on a Global Scale.. Many of the benefits that we enjoy as employees today, come from Unions supporting and standing up for their members..

      The members are not paying their daily dues to Chris Furbert, they are paying their dues to the Bermuda Industrial Union of which Mr. Furbert happens to be President at the present time.. its no need to attack the intelligence of these people because they choose to be part of a Union. At the end of the day,, who is going fight for these individuals when they are being treated unfairly???? Are you going to help them?????? I thought so…….

      • Former Union Member says:

        Regretfully Unions (and their elected officials) too often forget the circumstances that led to thier original organization. They fail to adapt to the changing times and continue to utilize the rhetoric that ‘may’ have been appropriate 30 years ago. The pendulum will swing, is swinging, away from the BIU. At the moment there is clearly very little public support for Mr. Furbert and his inarticulate arguments.

  28. Alvin Williams says:

    I have made a decision in regard to businesses in Bermuda. If I suspect or have proof that they are anti-Bermudian or anti-union that my hard earn dollars do not flow through thier doors. In recent times I have been called upon to apologize for telling the truth; I refuse and now we
    are presented with more truth in regard to the anti-union sentiments of KFC. Now the BIU has long called off the boycott of that company; mostly
    because if we hurt that business we will hurt the workers in whose interests we are defending and I understand that; but from a personal point of view I can not bring myself to enter thier door and will not enter thier door unless there is a change of ownership. I will go to America first if I want to taste KFC. That is a personal decision on my
    part for in my mind there are far too many insults and anti-Bermudian; anti-labour express sentiments for me as a Bermudian to turn the other cheek.

  29. Alvin Williams says:

    The above statement should read;I have made a decision in regard to business in Bermuda; If I suspect or have proof that they are anti-Bermudian or anti-labour than my hard earn dollars will not flow throught thier doors.

    • Mad Dawg says:

      So you “corrected” your sentence to one that has only two spelling mistakes and two grammatical errors.

  30. Building a better Bermuda says:

    Having watched CF in may press statements to date I can say that he should never play poker. His tells are obvious, as when he goes on to say that sister June has a temporary vision impairment, his tell shows he is not being honest. I can only presume then that her vision may be impaired, possibly to the point of legally blind, and that it is probably not temporary, which makes her loss of employment less of a union witch hunt and more of what would she do at KFC?