Photos/Videos: BIU Members March On House

March 5, 2014

[Updated with videos] Following a meeting this morning [Mar 5] attended by staff from the Department of Public Transportation and Marine & Ports, Union members marched on the House of Assembly to express their displeasure with Government’s proposal to amend the Labour Relations Act 1975.

The proposed aim of the Bill is to include public transportation [ferries and buses] as an essential service, which will then require them to give a 21 day advance notice before withdrawing labour.

We will have videos from the march later today, a photo slideshow is below, and our live blog is here.

Update 1.59pm: 14 minute video of the speeches at today’s march. BIU President Chris Furbert called it a “form of union busting,” and went on to say that “This is not 1834, we are not going back to slavery, we are not going back on the plantations.”

Update 2.10pm: Comments from Shadow Minister of Home Affairs Walter Roban

Update 2.10pm: Comments from Shadow Minister of Transport Lawrence Scott.

Update 2.25pm: Premier Craig Cannonier speaking with the media after the march,

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Comments (86)

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  1. J Starling says:

    Were you able to get some video for later?

    • Bernews says:

      Yes, we are processing video now, should be up soon.

      • J Starling says:

        Cool – thank you! :-)

        • O'Brien says:

          J Starling — for all your union cheerleading and ‘championing of workers rights’, do you have a job? Have you ever worked? As best I can tell you spend all your time trying to get your name in the paper.

          • openmind says:

            AMEN… I am glad someone else notices. He always has something to say, but never a solution.

            • Dark Side of the Moon says:

              Maybe he should have taken his Gambling Petition to BIU headquarters. Or was he too scared???? Seems like a guy who totally uses his Democratic right to support his own agenda, careful Mr. Starling, we’re watching you.

          • patient says:

            That is called being a responsible citizen. It is better than sitting back behind a false name and hiding!

            • It's about time! says:

              No it’s not at all!! There are a multitude of reasons that names and addresses are withheld on a daily basis across a broad spectrum!!

              The fact that people use it as a “cheap shot” to try and discredit the message that is being submitted does not make their argument any more legitimate.

              • Mike Hind says:

                Most of the time, it’s the person hiding behind the name that’s taking the cheap shot.
                It’s especially ridiculous when they go on the attack, talking about someone’s honesty and/or integrity, or lie through their teeth about the person or situation, while hiding behind a fake name.

                The old rule used to be “Use a fake name to express an opinion, but if you’re going to make a personal attack, you have to use your real name”…

                Sadly, those days are long gone.

          • silver spoon says:

            Born with a silver spoon perhaps?

        • BETTTY TRUMP says:

          “Labor disgraces no man; unfortunately, you occasionally find men who disgrace labor.”

          -Ulysses S. Grant

          Well done Workers for standing strong together. Unions have various strategies that can be employed, rather than just a Strike, these things are often more forceful than a strike alone. The key is putting into place an effective strategy plan, I know the Union has already begun to do just that !!

          The comments on here are from the faithful OBAubp supporters club, which are expected. Remember that Labor disgraces no man; unfortunately, you occasionally find men who disgrace labor.” I know it is easy to see whom today has disgrace labour with such negative and distasteful comments.. the UBPoba.

          Overlook, as these folks have always worn an Anti-Union Hat…. so just smile at them..but continue to stand strong.

          United WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL…. STAND STRONG…Victory is coming soon…as the Chess pieces are moving nicely…

          • BETTTY TRUMP says:

            Keep standing and Speaking up J Starling… I love to read your comments, often they are spot on… NO MAN SHALL BE MOVED…

      • BETTTY TRUMP says:

        Thanks Bernews for those interviews, good work, keep it up.

        Keep talking J Starling I enjoy your comments.

  2. LiarLiar says:

    So does Mr. Furbert believe that all current ‘essential services’, which are required to provide 21 days notice, are staffed by slaves?

  3. cha says:

    Last I checked it wasn’t still 1975 correct? This has nothing to do with slavery and they still have the right to strike it just needs to be organized, they essentially are not giving up any rights.

    Bring in replacement workers and let the BIU pay their members until they go bankrupt.

    • Mazumbo says:

      No this has nothing to do with slavery but recognize the reason we have Unions is because of the remnants of slavery. Its the subliminal underlying factors that we chose to ignore that can fester in the long run that can hinder the cause for the struggle.
      And I understand why a segment of the community endorse to bring in replacement workers eg. Philippine’s, Indians/Sri Lankan’s, Portuguese, Jamaican’s etc, etc, no reflections on these nationalities but these are the predominate people that are known to be hired as cheap labor and minimal benefits.
      Its up to us as the Bermudian labor force to uphold and maintain the standard of living that our For Fathers fought and sacrificed for, and I’m sure that the nationalities whose names I called feel the same way if they had cheap labor invading their country, undermining and threatening the moral standard of living in their country.

      • cha says:

        Um no replacement workers are a common remedy during strikes and act as a bargaining position for the employer. Ideally disputes would be resolved before it would come to this but the BIU don’t negotiate, they make demands and if they are not met then they continue to strike holding the island at ransom. The replacement workers could be brought in to perform the functions of Bermudian employees while they are on strike allowing services to carry on.

        It is actually quite expensive to implement and commonly used as a last resort. However given the BIUs actions of late I think it is becoming a feasible option.

        • Dark Side of the Moon says:

          If I was the Premier, I would hire mini buses, leave them sitting until the next strike is called and have your team ready to go when the buses and ferries go on strike. I think the union is being unreasonable on this issue and should understand that this is for the good of THEIR country. Mr. Furbert seems to be very demanding lately. Un-called for entirely. He should explain to his workers that they are lucky to have a job. Many of us have been layed off, taken pay cuts or just made redundant. It’s happened all over the island. This is not the time for revolt Mr. Furbert, pull together or all of us sink. Has nothing to do with slavery or plantation crap. Has to do with success.

        • Mazumbo says:

          Obviously you don’t have a clue what your talking bout, negotiations and dialogue is a part of Union and Management process its only when the process breaks down and there is no resolve or total disrespect from management then and only then the last resort is applied. So the next time you use one of the holes you have make sure you have an idea what your talking about.

          • cha says:

            Doesn’t seem like they are using it as a last resort to me; it is becoming all too common.

  4. Chips Ahoy says:

    Am I the only one that recognises the link between this retoric to Government and that to the workers management?

    Last week we had workers refusing to work because they knew better than management what to do. Now we have workers marching on Government to tell them what they can debate in Parliament! This is not about rights its about interfering in the democratic process like a spoilt child.

  5. Chips Ahoy says:

    Surely if these people know more about management than their managers they would be in hat position. If they know more about democracy they should be in de house.

    But sadly they are not the best informed or educated – please do not think that this is intended disrespectfully, simply as a fact of their vocational requirements and certainly no measure of their value to society which I believe is high nay “essential” as is their service!

    As such one can only deduce that they are being led astray by a manipulative leader who sserves himself in leading them on an illogical idealogical march toward unemployment.

    • privilege says:

      Well Chips ahoy, it sounds like you are describing your very own OBA leader(s)…”As one can only deduce that they are being led astray by a manipulative leader who serves himself in leading them on an illogical march toward unemployment.”

      As such can you also deduce that your vicious words can be directed back at you? Sadly, it seems that you too are not informed or educated. What a interesting circle.

  6. get a life says:

    REALLY they need to get back to work and be productive and take care of the people of this country who are trying to get around Bermuda most importantly our tourist. DAMAGE DAMGE

  7. nuffin but the truth says:

    standing there with his hands in his pocket,how pathetic is that!

  8. Bored by ignorance says:

    If deemed “non essential” then there is no need to give in to demands just because they strike……after all they are not essential!

    And if government has to cut jobs in the future if the economy doesn’t improve then “non essential” jobs are more likely to go first.

    SO it seems that being considered an essential service would actually be in their benefit. It does not prevent them from striking; it gives those who rely on their services the opportunity to make alternative arrangements to go to work or school

  9. CommonSense says:

    If getting our children to school every morning is NOT considered an essential service, than all hope is lost for Bermuda. Well done OBA, fight on. I hope the BIU goes bankrupt as well.

  10. Terry says:

    Comrade Starling is a very confused and Marxist Stalinist .
    His inner feelings about his past procure his present.

    He curries favor with those that have been taught and feel same.

    Lois was a socialist and so are many others with a relation to the BIU.

    Certains brought Bermuda to it’s knees in the 70-80′s.

    History will repeat itself if not checked.

  11. pjs says:

    Finally, some comments on an issue that actually make sense. CF should be ashamed of himself. Bus and ferry service SHOULD BE an essential service. It time for the union members to realize that this country will never recover if they continue this course.

  12. Take it Easy! says:

    To the water taxi guy (mr. simmons) when ya over board and ready for the season just come to watford bridge, cavello bay, ect i will be catching a lift with u in the morning! A nice privatized entity i will pay the extra **** this **** um tired!!!

  13. Gotham says:

    I have the distinct impression that the BIU and this division in particular has for some time now been deliberately baiting and provoking this new Government with a view to confrontation. Twenty one days strike notice is in fact considerably less than the norm elsewhere for similar services. Also, in the recent London tube strike, the public was given notice days in advance in order to prepare. Therefore, if the BIU is not interested in following established international norms and protocols, the question begs, what really is the leadership’s agenda. Perhaps the answer lies with Bean and Burgess and Furbert is just the stooge in all this.

    • terry says:

      Martha’s Vineyard comes to mind.
      Don’t mind me. I am a looney.

    • BETTTY TRUMP says:

      That is not true, often in London seldom are days for a tube strike given. The only good thing is that you may receive an email and given heads up. Stop spinning things. Same Nonsense from the BLindfaithfulness diehart UBPOba fans every day.

      • Sandy Bottom says:

        Betty, You’re completely wrong. Here is a story about the recent vote to stage two strikes. The vote was January 10. The first strike was planned, and held, on February 5. The second strike, planned for Feb 11, was called off. You keep lying Betty. It’s all you have when you’re wrong. Lies.;_ylu=X3oDMTByMG04Z2o2BHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkAw–/RV=2/RE=1394103362/RO=10/

        • Dark Side of the Moon says:

          She’a always wrong, but drinking lots and lots of PLP/BIU Koolaide. Is your tongue red, Betty????

          • BETTTY TRUMP says:

            Looks like your drunk daily on UBPOBA KOOLAIDE, that lacks any of the TRANSPARENCY THAT WAS PROMISED… REALLY …..false promises falling off your tongue and party…MPS.

        • BETTTY TRUMP says:

          Your really trying to push a dead point… I just got an email in regards to 3 Unions in London… STOP it, what makes you think you have all the information..

      • Gotham says:

        Betty, I know, I was in London about three weeks ago and watched very impressed as several days warning was given to the public about the impending strike.

        • Dark Side of the Moon says:

          Most intelligent countries would give notice for a strike. A strike is not to hold up the public transportation in any way, it is for the Managers of the country to treat their employees fairly. Only in Bermuda are strikes held like this. They know they have the upper hand because we’re so small.When was the last time you heard of the Union saying a strike was to be held in 21 days? NEVER, comes to mind. So just because they are all PLP folks, and are p—-d that the OBA took the Government, they can’t wait to down tools. Just the most ridiculous situation in history. Sure hope they don’t get paid for yesterday’s adventure.

  14. Common Sense says:

    For any of those who are interested in where the ILO stands in all of this, have a read as to what their GLOBAL standards and reccomendations are :

    My personal favourite section:

    Notice periods

    In many countries, the law requires workers and their organizations to give a certain period of notice of their intention to strike. In so far as this requirement is conceived as an additional stage in the bargaining process and is designed to encourage the parties to engage in final negotiations before resorting to strike action, it may be seen as a measure taken to encourage and promote the development of voluntary collective bargaining, in accordance with Convention No. 98. However, the required notice period should not be so long as to unduly restrict the right to strike. Moreover, shorter periods of notice should be required where the preceding period of conciliation and mediation is already lengthy and has enabled the remaining matters in dispute to be clearly identified (General Survey, para. 172).

    Notice periods that are applicable in general to all types of establishment should be short, whereas those applying in essential services or services of social or public interest may reasonably be longer. The Committee on Freedom of Association has found the following notice periods in such services to be compatible with principles of freedom of association:
    a 20-day notice period in the case of services of social or public interest (Digest, para. 504); and
    a 40-day notice period in the case of an essential service, provided that the time period is designed to provide the parties with further time for reflection (Digest, para. 505).

    So, if this is global standard, we are woefully behind the times and are overdue for some respect for our own public as well as common sense to research these policies before we march on Parliament and make embarrassing statements.

    BIU and particularly civil services such as bus and ferry operators, let it be known that while you may have relevant grievances to log, do not forget it is the PUBLIC that you serve. Downing tools at the drop of a hat for reasons that have not been properly documented or given due process is only making you look like a bunch of power hungry hyporcrites with personal agendas, losing the respect of the public in the process.

    Follow the procedures and protocol that you are so quick to point out against others, and maybe you won’t be such a joke.

  15. dinosaurmedia says:

    Where is Fahy in these pictures? Man up and face the people you affect…don’t get me wrong I agree with the priciples of what the OBA is trying to enact…you should show your face at least – if he did my apologies.

    • PBanks says:

      I can only go by the photos on this site, but Minister Fahy is in the Senate and not the House and perhaps they were meeting at a different time/date?

    • Unbelievable says:

      What’s the difference? It’s not like this march was planned…..if the 21-day notice was in place maybe the Minister would have known about it.

  16. Unbelievable says:

    I’ll ask again….And so based on the loose theory that propelled this march today, you could argue that since all the other “essential services” have the 21-day rule, are they at a disadvantage?

    Should we now repeal the 21-day rule for those services?

    • Steve Davis says:

      They are in fact slaves because of the 21 day rule. Still being paid and paid very well, but slaves at the end of the day.

      Anyone who works and cannot refuse to work and protest without fear of losing their job, without giving a notice period is a slave. Ask anyone in the private sector if they could behave that way?

      • hmmm says:

        Nobody is a slave, they can choose to give employer appropriate notice and go work for someone else.

      • JD says:

        You are so off base that I actually feel sad for you.

      • No longer a member says:

        Sorry to tell you Steve, you are in mental slavery!

  17. Grey Snapper says:

    The BIU President has lost me after I was warming to him. I believe it is a dis-service to the hundreds of thousands of Africans whose bones carpet the Atlantic Ocean floor – to incite people with “going back to slavery” remarks. I am certain we are sophisticated and evolved beyond that type of cheap shot. That language in this instance appears clearly divisive and provocative to the point of recklessness. And it makes me more sympathetic to C. Cannonier.

    • Chips Ahoy says:

      Indeed the reference can be considered nothing but an insult to all of the decendants of that barabaric trade. Shame.

  18. Steve Davis says:

    This is unbelievable! These people don’t even know what they are protesting for! They are just an angry mob looking for something! Funny thing is they already have everything!

    I can guarantee that you will not find a more under-qualified, over employed, over paid, and over compensated union work force anywhere else in the world.

    And Furbert has the Audacity to talk about going back to slavery!? What planet is he on. We are going bankrupt and the bumbling bunch of lemmings he is leading will drag us all down with them.


  19. patient says:

    Thats right Chris stand Up!

    • lucky 7 says:

      By ‘stand up’ you mean get off your a$$ and do something productive with your time, RIGHT?!

  20. Smdh says:

    Just listen to the way Chris speaks…. Why is he so defensive and hostile? Also sounds so uneducated. I find him very arrogant.

    And I’m no OBA supporter but it bothers me that PLP was in the back clapping their hands agreeing with Chris. Seriously? They agree with this nonsense? Geeshums my people. What is with you. I really do not see what the fuss is. Busses and ferries will be an essential service and you need to give 21 days notice to strike. WHAT IS THE PROBLEM!!!!!

    • Smdh says:

      And why was there such an uproar after Mr. Cannonier said “to the people of bermuda we be responsible to the young kids and seniors”?….. I’m speechless. And the people telling the premier “just get to the point”. Where is you people’s respect? Fair enough you are angry. I get that. But be respectful. It angers me to see my fellow people acting this way. It is disgusting and embarrassing.

    • Dark Side of the Moon says:

      Yup, that;s the kind of people they are, real hypocrites. Derrick Burgess really is quite a character, after he helped bankrupt this country, and he has the nerve. Every single project that man touched went over budget BY MILLIONS but he still sits in Parliament, NOT THAT, I CAN’T UNDERSTAND.

  21. terry says:

    All by design.

  22. Lone Wolf says:

    No-one in the BIU/PLP is listening or wants to hear that they can still strike as long as they give 21 days notice. Their selective hearing prevents them from understanding those words.

    The main issue is Furbie is afraid he’s going to lose the only real power he and his beloved PLP have. The power to shut down the Island. Without that, he has nothing.

  23. Triangle Drifter says:

    Nice to see that they all put their best angry faces on & came out for the photo op.

  24. Lone Wolf says:

    The sad part …… The really real sad part of it all is that this generation of die hard plp supporters are SO brainwashed that they truly can’t see what is happening.

    It’s like a cult. They are all going to just lay down and let themselves be poisoned. Not one of them will ever see the reality until it is too late. When there is nothing but poverty. People literally starving to death by the hundreds. Crime like they’ve never seen before. Bermuda being known as the pit of the Atlantic instead of the jewel.

    That day is coming. There’s no stopping it. They will stubbornly make it happen. Watch and see ….

    • BETTTY TRUMP says:

      The sad part …… The really real sad part of it all is that this generation of die hard UBPoba supporters are SO brainwashed that they truly can’t see what is happening. The UBPoba diehards have voted in one direction for years. Never changing their votes. The only folks whom are swing voters are those whom would vote in either direction and that has been PLP supporters. I think you have it wrong, but no surprise as your locked into the diehard nonsense of the ANTI-UNION UBPOba supporters Club. REALLY …get real lonewolf you write this way every day….

  25. aqua cadit resurgere says:

    Now Chris…chris…your puttin your nose squarely on their buttock again…but they aren’t there with the checkbook this time…I understand…I do…your feeling you need to objeck…but you yourself know…you know dat it was plp that neglected dose wvessels!…You know it because…I said it…I went to marine and ports and asked them for the cotract to upkeap those vessels when plp were in office …you lnow what dey tole me?…dey said there was no money to upkeap those boats…and there hasn’t been for some time!They realized then!….and you knew about it then….but you only object now…go open biu grocery then…go on….go open your grocery stuah!

  26. aqua cadit resurgere says:

    you should be grateful …you have a job….you really should…because Chris …you neglected your people for fouteen years!

  27. michael says:


    Mob rule…this will be our future for a long time.

  28. Looking in says:

    Furbert looks like he is lecturing and telling the Premier what to do.

  29. HeyBye says:

    They do not know how to really work for their pay cheque,Just take and take from the tax payer and “the man” zero productivity in return.
    Too stupid to realize that money comes from abroad as Bda produces zero to earn its capital.
    They are making Bda look very unattractive to capital ,will come Back and bite them in the @$$!
    There is already a shortage of money to go around for all Bermudians.

  30. Come On Man says:

    It’s got nothing to do with life and limb you idiot. Every time a visitor is inconvinienced it is another nail in our coffin. This country has to keep moving in order to prosper. How many visitors will not return after a transportation stoppage damn man can’t you see that it’s slowly damaging our reputation OMG! DON’T BE SUCH A FOOL!

  31. Come On Man says:

    And please stop using slave bating. It’s got nothing to do with slavery. We are all working slaves. You Chris Furbert are just baiting your members and stiring up emotions with your slavery comment.

  32. Come On Man says:

    I see these members behind their supreme leader and I see a bunch of anti Government followers. You mean to tell me that they agree with everything that Furbert spews out if his mouth. UNBELIEVEBLE!

  33. Really says:

    Looks like PLP,and union bedfellows sour grapes for cf as he was lined up for a government job that never happened

  34. Cleancut says:

    Chris Furberts followers are not marching for the cause anymore, they are marching for the PLP.

    • Simon Richards says:

      Spot on, this is wholly political. I just want the ferry to work.

  35. nuffin but the truth says:

    always trying to use the race cards,it don’t work anymore,
    there are many inter racial relationships in Bermuda,open your eyes and look.

  36. Chris Famous says:

    The irony is Fahy gives 2 days notice of his actions to demand 21 days notice of industrial action

    Hypocrisy much?

    • Mike Hind says:

      You need to look up the word Irony.

    • Mike Hind says:


      HA! YOU? Denouncing someone for hypocrisy?

      THAT is a laugh! THAT is the very definition of hypocrisy!

    • Simon Richards says:

      Are you on the same planet? Which minister is ever going to give 21 days notice for something like this?

      1 disrupts the country, the other is a piece of legislature that makes the country more stable.

      Honestly Christopher, sometimes your view isn’t the right view.

      • Unbelievable says:

        Mazumbo, doesn’t like to be told he’s wrong.

  37. Looking in says:

    Minister Fahy,most of Bermuda supports the way you and the OBA are running the country,

  38. MAKE MY DAY says:

    I fervently wish the old UBP had done this to Ottie Simmons some 30+ yrs ago!!! Then the Island might still have a *Tourism Business* and there would NOT be 3000+ people out-of-work!!!

  39. MAKE MY DAY says:

    I truly hope this is the *Gotcha* moment I have been waiting 35 yrs for!!! The BIU have done so much damage to BDA’s reputation and “Tourism Business” over the years – it’s a crying shame!!!

  40. 1minute says:

    The BIU have it wrong:
    They will not lose the ability to strike, they will just need to give notice.
    They have not been driven back to slavery, that was just a way for them to bring race into the mix.

    Instead of being negative about everything, why don’t they look on it as a positive step? As an essential service, doesn’t that mean that Government must make sure that they are maintained to the highest order, similar to the Fire Department etc.
    Isn’t maintenance the big issue the BIU were complaining about

  41. Gotham says:

    If the buses and terries were simply abandoned and written off, my guess is that the savings in operating (payroll, maintenance, insurance, etc) would very quickly minimise these capital costs. The savings would go a long way to balancing Government’s books. The economy might take a short further dip, but I believe the opportunities this situation would create would very quickly lead to long term recovery by bringing out the fundamental entrepreneur/opportunist that resides in all true Bermudians who love their country.