BPSU “Stand In Solidarity” With Jason Hayward

August 20, 2015

“The BPSU Executive and General Council stand in solidarity with our President Jason Hayward and he has our unwavering support,” the BPSU said today.

These comments follow after legal action was launched by Finance Minister Bob Richards after Mr. Hayward, in his capacity with the People’s Campaign, made certain statements pertaining to Minister Richards on a television appearance in relation to the emails over the airport contract with the Canadian Commercial Corporation.

A statement from the BPSU said, “Bermudian working men and women have lost blood, produced sweat and shed tears for the right to be unionized. Workers have looked to Bermuda’s Unions to be their voice because, during the early 1960s through to the late 1980s, workers who expressed their concerns regarding workers struggles were targeted with reprisals from employers and some government officials.

“However, despite the denial, there are Bermudian workers who still bear the scars for their belief in the Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Speech.

“The issue, and therefore the discussion for everyone, is to be mindful of the past struggles endured to achieve these basic human rights and the continued effort required to maintain and protect them.

“The current legal action against the President of the BPSU, Jason Hayward, challenges the very ethos of Freedom of Speech and Expression.  In addition to the Plaintiff’s [Minister E.T. Richards] claim for “aggravated damages for libel”, the writ also requests:

“an injunction restraining the Defendant, whether by himself, his servants, agents or otherwise however from further publishing or causing to be published the same or any similar words defamatory of the Plaintiff.”

“The International Fraternal Trade Union movement has championed the universal human right for Freedom of Expression and Free Speech throughout the world.

“There are Trade Unionists in Third World countries who been killed for attempting to exercise this right on behalf of the oppressed and destitute.  Much of the world has learned of these atrocities and other worker causes through the Free Press.  However, sadly, Bermuda’s media houses appear to be ignoring the attacks on democratic freedoms that are occurring in our own country.

“The above referenced universal conventions guarantees basic human rights, an essential component of any democracy. It is this freedom that enables citizens to exchange views and information, to protest against injustice, to influence the public discourse and to hold the Government to account.  Citizens are entitled to disagree with Government and the Government must respect the right to do so.

“As a member of the Bermuda Trade Union Congress [BTUC], the BPSU partnered with both former Governments and the current Government to ensure unemployed Bermudians had an opportunity to be re-employed and to aid in the resurgence of Bermuda’s economy.  There have been several other examples where the BPSU has led the discussion on key issues facing Bermuda.  These include:

  • an actuarial review of the superannuation plan with recommendations to ensure that it was fully funded;
  • ideas on succession planning and training for all civil servants;
  • viable proposals for both revenue generation and reduction in expenditure;
  • the re-introduction of the Economic Tripartite Committee as a method of collaboratively finding solutions to the Island’s economic challenges;
  • endorsing the America’s Cup.

“Open public dialogue is important especially regarding the usage of taxpayer funds that affect the public purse for any proposed government venture.

“This does not appear to be the case with the dispute between the Plaintiff, Mr. E.T. Richards and Mr. Jason Hayward of the BPSU. This situation represents a David and Goliath scenario where the Government, by its position of strength, appears to be seeking to strangle the Union by both making an example of Brother Hayward, denying free speech as it pertains to the Union and, by extension, the public at large.

“The BPSU Executive and General Council stand in solidarity with our President Jason Hayward and he has our unwavering support.”

- Comments are closed as the latest entity to receive legal correspondence in relation to this matter is Bernews, who has been contacted by a lawyer representing Mr Jason Hayward.

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