Roban: Debate Pushback A “Victory for Labour”

March 7, 2014

WALTER ROBANShadow Home Affairs Minister Walter Roban called the decision to delay the debate on the Labour Law a “victory for Labour and consultation and a defeat of heavy handed government and the restraining of workers rights and intimidation.”

Earlier today [Mar 7], Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy — who was joined by BIU President Chris Furbert — announced that the Labour Relations Act 1975 will not be debated at this time.

This delays immediate action on the 21-day strike notice proposal, however the Minister said it will stay on the Order Papers with the intent to be debated at a later time.

Mr Roban said, “This is a victory for Labour and consultation and a defeat of heavy handed government and the restraining of workers rights and intimidation.

“We are very pleased to hear the announcement that the proposed amendments to the Labour Relations Act will be put on hold while the Government and the Bermuda Industrial Union participate in conversations and negotiation. This is the path that should’ve been taken by the OBA Government prior to tabling the legislation.

“Going forward, the Minister should take advantage of the experience and intellect available within the Tripartite Committee, Labour Law Reform Committee and Labour Advisory Council. This would be a tangible step towards rebuilding trust and cultivating a genuine spirit of consultation the OBA that many believe is just talk.

“We hope that Minister Fahy and his OBA Government will have learned important lessons on labour relations with this process and that going forward the BIU and the Government can work together in good faith.”

Read More About

Category: All, News, Politics

Comments (53)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Legal Eagle says:

    I agree that there is NO NEED to have transportation added to the list of essential services.

    • BETTTY TRUMP says:

      Mr Roban said, “This is a victory for Labour and consultation and a defeat of heavy handed government and the restraining of workers rights and intimidation.

      I only hope that the government are “honest brokers” in terms of “Consultation and Collaboration” with the Unions. I hope this is not a short-term twist to make it appear that REAL Consultation has taken place, and that the government really are Serious moving forward in term of working with the Unions.

      But if this is TRUE consultation and Collaboration with a meaningful steps towards moving forward in the future, than I will take my hat off to the government…lets hope I do not have to take it off anytime soon.

      • Arthur Scargill says:

        So in your last paragraph you admit you would rather see Bermuda fail rather than prosper if the PLP aren’t in charge.

        Sounds like the attitude of a diehart blind faithfulness diehard!

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      In other words I guess you don’t need public transport to get around.

      Have one of those $60,000 jeeps do you?

      • PANGAEA says:

        lot Less than a $120,000 buss with plastic seats.

    • Jules says:

      We are truly another world.
      Most North American cities are making transportation an essential service because leaders are aware that transportation is linked to the economy. It is fine to say that someone could get a ride with someone if there is no transportation, but what about others? Bermudians travel extensively imagine that you were overseas and there was no public transportation? Perhaps it doesn’t matter because someone drives you around. But Bermuda with a tourist economy really needs to rethink this. The island is over priced for the value it offers as it is. If I was a tourist who had saved my hard earned $$$ for a year to come here and then discovered that I had to pay for cab rides rather than a bus ride or a lovely ferry ride, I’d never recommend the place. I use that one example to encourage all Bermudians – politicians, union leaders,voters – to think of the big picture. That is really the bottom line and helps us not to be so self-centered. I also suspect that if a pol was taken for those of us who use public transit that we would want transportation to be deemed essential.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        A poll HAS already been taken elsewhere and out of 4065 respondents 81% feel that public transportation should be made an essential service.

  2. Coffee says:

    Of course MP Roban , the hobbledehoys on the other side of the House came to their collective senses .

  3. Kim Smith says:

    You know what? Unless we are all winning (ie. Bermuda) no one is winning and I think we need to change this type of thinking because it perpetuates the ‘them and us’ mind-set which is divisive and you know the saying… divided we fall! This is the 21st century and we need to get with the times.

    • Mazumbo says:

      Ah hello, its been an them and us since African descendants first landed in Bermuda !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Sandgrownan says:

        Race card played! You’re Irrelevent.

      • Kim Smith says:

        I hear you Mazumbo! We need to find a way to move forward together, mindful of what brought us to today, and willing to link the past, present and future without shackling them.

      • PICO says:

        get off the race card DH

    • street wise says:

      It will always be “us and them” in Bda… winners and losers… black & white… rich and poor… educated and uneducated… plp and OBA… and on and on it goes asway too many people trip over things BEHIND THEM! Don’t you think it’s time for us move forward TOGETHER??! Rather than reaping up the past ad nauseam!!

      • Mazumbo says:

        Ya I think it’s time for us to move forward TOGETHER but we have to deal with the uncomfortable issue with race which is mostly ignored by the White community but wants to forget about it and just move on after inflicting centuries of murder, rape, torture, injustice just to name a few (which has left a long lasting psychological impact on both races) and the progress we’ve made as a people has to be commended even though it’s just been about 50 or 60 years that we’ve been accepted or tolerated in main stream society but are still not considered equal.
        Now I’m expecting the negative comments and it hurts but I cant help if you cant handle the TRUTH.

        • Kim Smith says:

          The history of the world documents the oppression of all types of people at some time or another. This is not to minimise the devastation inflicted but it is factual and obviously a part of the human condition. And so here we are and we need to move forward… together or apart… it’s our collective choice.

  4. nuffin but the truth says:

    “victory for Labour…”..absolute rubbish!

    • Truth Tells says:

      Rubbish is actually an essential service!

    • PANGAEA says:

      No body wins an argument

      Eg : You smash up your car or kitchen stove in anger and lucky you get to pay for the damages and do not tear up the joker race card.

  5. Terry says:

    Walter is just another one again to jump on the bandwagon.
    These guys just won’t let it rest and claim victory.
    What an

  6. Kangoocar says:

    Is bud serious???? His nonsense will never end, if anyone with a sane mind watched, it was very clear that furby backed down because he knew he was checked mated!! Furby was the one that reached out to the Premier and he said so himself!!! As long as we have fools like bud in Parliament spewing their nonsense, we are going nowhere fast!! Just unbelievable the levels they will stoop too??? Hey bud why don’t you try being a part of the solution to the mess your party inflicted on your own supporters???

    • Sandgrownan says:

      Tools like Bud you mean? If anyone thinks this is a victory for labour, they’re an idiot

  7. Negotiator says:

    The guv of the day did what they had to do. In the end they will get what they want from the BIU, while allowing Furby to save some face. Well played.

  8. Passive Aggressif says:

    All that was being asked for was a 21 day cool down period before any strike action.

    The misleading and hate filled responses from the BIU leadership and PLP are disgusting. I have zero respect for any of them.

    • My boy says:


    • In fact says:

      The BIU had already agreed to 21 days notice when they got let off the hook for the Berkeley bond.

      Can we have our $14 million now?

  9. Rockfish#2 says:

    The can has been kicked further down the road.

  10. soo says:

    The only victory for labor would be for Chris to quit. He needs to join the dinosaurs he imitates.

    • Mazumbo says:

      Got anybody else to replace him?

      • nuffin but the truth says:

        Thankfully…No…another chris…lmao!

        • Mazumbo says:

          I think you missed it there will never be another Chris, we are all one of a kind, but you will always have someone to take your place, the leadership in the Union has and will always have someone to lead, Dr. E. F. Gordon, Harold “Dish” Talbot, Leanord Bascome, Martin T. Wilson, Robert Johnson, Ottiwell Simmoms, Derrick Burgess, Chris Furbert …………………… so regardless of the hate that has been sentiment throughout the years to these leaders for fighting for rights of the workers it’s just a reflection of History repeating itself.

        • Mazumbo says:

          I think you missed it, there will never be another Chris, we all are unique and there is always someone to take over just like, Dr. E. F. Gordon, Harold “Dish” Talbot, Leanord Bascome, Martin T. Wilson, Robert Johnston, Otiwell Simmons, Derrick Burgess, Chris Furbert,……………….there has always been a negative sentiment against these leaders over the years who fight for the workers rights, which is just History repeating itself.

          • Arthur Scargill says:

            I think I speak for everyone when I say I’m glad there’s only one of you!!

            As it is International Women’s Day, it speaks volumes about the patriarchal nature of the union that all the names listed are men. The BIU needs to be more progressive.

            • Mazumbo says:

              I think its kind of cocky to say you speak for everyone but to pin point the Union for your soap box is kinda shallow as we are living in a patriarchal world can you say the same with the lodges, Yacht and dingy clubs, Lions clubs etc, etc, but my personal opinion is that some positions cant be emasculated.

              • Arthur Scargill says:

                So you think a woman should never be head of BIU?

  11. Navin Johnson says:

    if it is a victory for anyone its the people of Bermuda……so tired of politicians….

    • BlueFamiliar says:

      I tend to agree with you. Anything that brings the two sides together to talk gives me hope.

  12. reader says:

    Everything is a war with the plp.

    • Mazumbo says:

      It’s been a war since African descendants first stepped foot on this Island.

  13. Bermuda Boy says:

    Bowrain, Roban WHATEVER, why don’t you get a grip on life. Isn’t it about time to start helping instead of causing trouble all the time!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Bermuda Boy says:

    Mazumbo, what language is this “its been an them and us” and by the way, most African people wouldn’t lower themselves to your gutter level.

  15. High road says:

    It saddens me to read this and see how the shadow minister can only view this as a “victory defeat” scenario instead of two parties attempting to work together. One sure doesn’t need to look too far to see why our fragile community is in such divide. I would be willing to bet that if more acts of togetherness like this were seen then the road to recovery might not seem as unattainable as it is seems right now.

  16. Redman says:

    Roban: Debate Pushback A “Victory for Labour”

    Looks more like the politics of appeasement to me, Chamberlain tried appeasement 80 odd years ago and look how that ended. It sure hasn’t worked for Bermuda, Bermudians and jobs for decades. Remember all the Hotels and Guest houses and visitors we used to have? Every major Hotel Chain that we used to but no longer have are STILL operating all around the world … just not here. So I’m sure the ‘do as we say or go to hell’ attitude that exemplifies these incidents fixed them right???

    The Govts failure to change the status quo and effectively stop numerous and many times unnecessary work stoppages and wildcat strikes is actually a victory for our competitors. They are laughing all the way to the bank with NEW Hotel Developments and Investment, of course some at our own expense. The Govt also needs to change the problem which is the way votes are taken, they should be after hours so as to cause as little disruption to services as possible. Should the Unions need to go that far then issue your strike notice and strike but clearly these numerous stoppages are counter productive as anything that negatively affects our visitors vacation experience, the innocent residents and businesses are counter productive to all.

    These incidents which become more political than labour continue to make Bermuda inc look outdated – which we are and unattractive to investment which we clearly have been for ages now, all at the expense of jobs and a meaningful future for most Bermudians and their children… particularly blue collar jobs… including Unionised ones.

    Bermuda we either change with the times or die, if we continue on this tack we will continue to erode what little incentive there is to invest here and won’t see the amount of new investment needed to rebuild old or NEW Hotels, revive tourism, IB and jobs.

  17. swing voter says:

    Butch Furbert was ordered to reach out to the Premier and negotiate a truce…..the order came from the membership! Finally they understand that they are the ultimate losers when they listen to Furberts crap and decide to walk off the job…..and don’t get paid! Get serious BIU because scabs will be driving the buses and Ferries whenever you decided to act the fool.

  18. Ringmaster says:

    This was a clear defeat of the BIU. The only reason Chris Furbert went to Government to start consultation was because of the amendment to the labour law being tabled. Chris Furbert himself said he approached Government. The proposed amendment is still on the table and the BIU will be reminded of it when they next try and illegally withdraw labour.

  19. BlueFamiliar says:

    Mazumbo, you do realise that the African continent is presently considered the ‘cradle of life’ meaning, effectively, we are all of African descent.

    • PANGAEA says:

      Not me. The Heinz 57 races of the earth are to far apart physically to have any association.

      PANGAEA is the name given to the land mass before the continents divided up, so I must be of Pangaean decent.

      You are what you are and you are what you are going to be.

      • Mike Hind says:

        Wow… you really have no idea the amount of time you’re talking about, do you?

        Pangaea was about 300 million years ago.

        Homo sapiens is about 200 THOUSAND years old, with the oldest fossils about 40-50 thousand years after that.

        A HUGE difference.

        And… “Too far apart physically”?


        Other than completely superficial things like hair and skin, how are they “too apart physically”?

        • PANGAEA says:

          You do not be believe all the spin you see on the National Geographic Channel do you ?

  20. Alvin Williams says:

    Jaw Jaw is better than war war; who said that? one of your great leaders’ Sir Winston Churchill and we all know his feelings on waging war. Is it possible that the OBA government has finally figure out it can not win an all out war with labour in this country? If so we may hear less of the arrogance as express by the OBA transport/Tourism Minister;’ I don’t have to talk to them’.

  21. well…marine and ports have had their cake and ate it to for decades…time and a half,double time,and triple time… 40 dollars an hour regular (straight time).For these lot to march on govt. and decide to get a gal fired for being outspoken and pointing out the truth,since when does a union…get a gal fired from her job…for being voicey?…one more thing…repaires and maintenance always fall on week ends,after work …and triple time holidays!……..

    These lot claim to have nothing?….by God….let them have nothing!….As a tax payer…I would prefer paying a seperate autonomous crew to do the maintenance and upkeep of vessels…at a straight time wage done at night!I demand value for dollar!