Premier Dunkley: “Reject This Irresponsible Call”

March 10, 2016

Premier Michael Dunkley“The People Campaign’s call for an Island-wide withdrawal of labour is both irresponsible and misconceived,” Premier Michael Dunkley said this evening, adding that the “Government calls on people of goodwill to reject this irresponsible call, attend to their places of business as normal and keep helping Bermuda move forward.”

The Premier’s statement follows after the People’s Campaign said they are “calling for an island-wide withdrawal of labour on Friday March 11th, 2016 as a show of people power and island-wide solidarity appealing to the Government to withdraw its intention to table the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 2016.”

The statement calling for a withdrawal of labour came shortly after the Ministry of Home Affairs confirmed that meetings took place following correspondence from the BIU indicating that unless Government withdrew the proposed immigration legislation, they would call on “people to protest” by withdrawing labour on Friday.

Premier Dunkley said, “The People Campaign’s call for an Island-wide withdrawal of labour is both irresponsible and misconceived.

“This group, whose leadership is accountable to no one, is calling for workplace disruption on a matter that is scheduled for debate in the Parliament of Bermuda — an exercise that is fundamental to the integrity and effectiveness of our democracy.

“The Government welcomes and encourages people to express themselves – it’s the essence of how we govern ourselves — but not at the behest of a vague organization.

“The Government calls on people of goodwill to reject this irresponsible call, attend to their places of business as normal and keep helping Bermuda move forward.

“Putting our shoulders to the wheel, as we do each day, will do more to help our brothers and sisters who are struggling than to fall into line with a demonstration that is designed to disrupt the lives of the many,” concluded the Premier.

In addition, a statement from the Government this evening said, “The Government is advising the public this evening that it is anticipating industrial activity tomorrow [Friday, March 11].

“As a result, there will likely be a disruption of public services – such as public transportation and others – which is expected to inconvenience the public.

“The public is encouraged to make alternative arrangements wherever possible. The Government will update tomorrow once a full assessment ‎of service disruption has been determined.”

The immigration policy proposed by the Government would allow people ordinarily resident in Bermuda for 15 years to become eligible to apply for permanent residency, and any permanent resident who is ordinarily resident in Bermuda for 20 years becoming eligible to apply for Bermudian status.

Since the announcement was made on February 5th, the topic has remained in the headlines, with five protests held in relation to it over the past month, and petitions being launched on both sides of the topic.

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Comments (72)

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  1. blah blah blah says:

    Should have listen to us …

    • Sam says:

      Should have focused in school, you might have learned proper grammar and spelling.

      • It is a darn good thing that Bernews does not let us go over board with our comments, because right about now, you and Mr. Dunkley can read my grammar, and trust me, I learned it from my father and not from the class room.

        How the heck you going to call this irresponsible, You dont want to listen to the people about the immigration reform, you dont want to listen about the unnecessary school closures, you want shove same sex marriage and unions down our throat, and rubber stamp all their kind in here, along with the prc’s and rubber stamp paper Bermudians.

        Oh and this don’t give us the right to be irate and pissed to the max, hell thank god that I cannot say the rest of what i would love to write, but you Mr. Dunkley are far worse then the former premier Dr. Ewart Browne, who you claimed was the worse thing ever happen to Bermuda, amazing how the turn of events are unfolding.

    • The Dark Knight Returns says:

      What I personally find irresponsible is the fact that this Governemnt does not listen to its people first. You can’t continually ignore your people and do as you feel. That is a recipe for disaster. I also think that civil disobedience is a recipe for disaster. Someone has to be the biggest goer person and unfortunately under these circumstances the Government is supposed to be the bigger person and should act as such. Listen to your people before there aren’t any to rule over.

      • Fair is Fair says:

        Except this isn’t the view of all the people. The presumption alone is insulting and arrogant. There are a lot of supporters for this, and therefore they see the government are listening to the people.

    • aceboy says:

      Us? Who is us? Your threats are threats against yourself you absolute fool. You are directly threatening the security and livelihood of this island over giving people the right to reside in Bermuda who are already here and who have jobs and have lived amongst us for 15-20 years. This will have nothing but a benefit to this island but you have let others convince you to simply be a big stick in a political game. The PLP are good at games, not so good at Governing. Driven past the Grand Atlantic lately? Have a good long look next time you drive past. THAT is the legacy of what you are supporting now.

    • TO BLAH BLAH BLAH……I agree. This foolish man lacks real intelligence but possesses real foolishness.Pathetic!!!!
      …..and LEADS this country……WHERE??????
      People must have known that when that oba/ubp swung into action December 18, 2012, that Dunkley would lead….. and lead disastrously!!!!

    • lowe says:

      Sorry Dunkley. The only thing we will reject is your reckless party and your authoritarian leadership style..

      • hmmm says:

        A court case, the supreme court and international laws are what led to this…it was not an OBA dreamed up directive…

        Ask yourself, who made you think otherwise? For it is them that you should vent your frustration at.

  2. Wha says:

    I will be at work. I care about my students!

    • This teacher is a private school teacher. Gotta be.
      Does not understand the future ramifications of her actions.Especially for children.

      • Jus' Wonderin' says:

        You’re the ones f****** it up for all the children today by not being at school TEACHING! If you don’t see that than you’re really lost smh!

  3. Wow says:

    I am Bermudian and I DO NOT support the Peoples Campaign.

    • deborah says:

      I am Bermudian and I DO support the Peoples Campaign!

      • Navin Pooty Tang Johnson says:

        Even if it is run by a foreigner ?

    • youngandeducated says:

      You do not support then but will sit back and reap the benefits they fight fit. Typical ****** , always against the great good. I’m not saying striking is the better option but sometimes its the only way. I know I have to be at work and its my choice to be at work. I can’t say I’m not in support if striking but know today its not my turn.

  4. Imitation Crab Meat says:

    Can someone explain to me what this is even all about? I’m a bit uninformed.

    • JD says:

      The PLP is worried that some people who have lived, worked, and paid taxes in Bermuda for 20 years might not vote for them. That’s about it in a nutshell.

      • lifetime says:

        And why those same people have been having their work permits rolled over year after year while you have qualified Bermudians applying for jobs. Enough is Enough.

        Mr. Dunkley your days are numbered. Serves you right as you made yourself OBA leader overnight. Shame on you OBA members for allowing it.

        Catch phrases of the week : We are listening to the people and moving forward. He’s been saying that since 2012! Did anyone ever tell you if you don’t listen you will FEEL? You will learn that lesson today Mr. Premier.

      • youngandeducated says:

        It has nothing to do with the the high paid expects stay , they don’t take their money and run. They low paid ones build big ass houses and run back home. Having these people here is stopping Bermudians from getting jobs. Look at buzz for one they have more expects than locals and its not fair. Those jobs can go to people who are at least looking after being mad redundant. Instead of being put on financial assistance. Our you people go school and come back for the summer can’t even getva job or finish school and cant get a high paying job.

      • Imitation Crab Meat says:

        Is that really it?

        • LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL says:

          No that is not the correct answer to your question. That is one persons OPINION of whats going on. A big difference.

  5. Lois Frederick says:

    Glad the Premier got this message out tonight. Tomorrow should be interesting.

  6. Here we go says:

    Lets be honest here they are only hurting their own people

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      In the short term and in the long term, but I wouldn’t count on that being a deterrent, the PLP have been the worst government for the advancement of the community since… well ever, but yet…. Don’t expect anyone from the PLP party or membership to acknowledge that their disastrous immigration amendments and failure to even address education as being among the reasons we are where we are now.

      • Yup! says:

        Couldn’t agree more, don’t understand how they don’t see what is right infront of them, it has an impact on all people, makes Bermuda look like we can’t even get our s#*t together embarrassed to call myself Bermudian at this point!

      • Answer says:

        Both parties do BS. I am Bermudian and I have never seen any of them stick to there word. This is being run by Bermudians only. I haven’t followed this as much but I do understand both sides. The people of Bermuda just want to make sure we {Bermudian} have something for our children and grandchildren to look forward to. Not everything needs a froegin worker to be brought in. We have Bermidian that have papers to state they are quacified for the job but they just want to bring in people. This is what we are flighting for. Not PLP or OBA. We are flighting for Bermuda and the rights for Bermudians.

        • Protest says:

          Totally agree with Answer. This is a Bermudian issue and unfortunately it is being made a political issues. We are seeing expats being brought in at all levels when there are fully qualified persons. Many of these expat persons then have their jobs rolled time after time, where they are now being able to apply for PRC or Bermuda status. Some of these persons will start up their own business once gaining PRC or bda status and compete against the locals. There is a very high probability that they too will hire expats and roll over their contracts… and the cycle continues….

          • Laura says:

            I want to see these cases publicly named and shamed!

        • hmmm says:

          ….but this pathways to status is as a result of court decisions and international law.

          PLP and its arms are just using you.

          • the truth will set you free says:

            International Law – It is obvious that most laws that are called “legal” are really about power

            Slavery was legal
            Genocide was legal
            Lynching was legal
            Criminalizing people (majority people of color) for possession of drugs for personal use is legal. When it should be a health issue.

            Therefore because something is legal it does not make it right, also one should ask who benefits and who has benefitted from these laws that are called legal

        • Build a Better Bermuda says:

          Despite the often surplus of anecdotal stories of ‘qualified Bermudians’ be ignored to hire a foreigner, we have a huge deficiency for the talent in our employment pool that the IB is looking for. Primarily because one of the desired requirements be experience in the international fields and extra professional credentialing in fields like underwriting and risk management. These, however, are not insurmountable and I have previously mentioned ways they can be tackled, but will not drag them out again here, suffice to say that they can be overcome through a demonstration of initiative that exceeds the notion of ‘I am an educated Bermudian’. This Pathways initiative isn’t some wholesale selling of our rights, but is giving to those rights they have earned, and will not be a threat to present or future Bermudians as with hard work on our part, we can come to own all our sectors. But it will take hard work and a social commitment across the board, something we should have fully embraced years ago, but too many embraced then and still do now the far easier to swallow failed notion of nationalistic ideology.

    • One Love says:

      Exactly who are you referring to when you say “they”?

      • aceboy says:

        PLP/BIU/PC/IRAG supporters.

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        That should be very obvious. Does everything have to be spelled out in infinite detail?

      • Laura says:

        The people calling for and participating in this action. Obviously.


      Curious, who is they and they’re people?

  7. Skeptical says:

    I will be at work. I support the Government’s position. Look forward to seeing my students.

  8. John says:

    Call for an island wide “day off for all expats” think that will do more damage

    • deborah says:

      John sounds like a good idea to me! Then we will definitely be in a great position to get our educated Bermudians who have come home to work and cant get a job! Your suggestion is a great idea!

    • So Tired says:

      You need a reality check. Bermudians are training these people. Answer to your question…NO!

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Oh my, if that happened the place would be shut down in an hour.

      Who would give direction for work to be done? Who would cook food in the restaurants? Who would serve those meals? All the Bermudians in IB would be sent home or be at work making arrangements for the company to move somewhere else. Who would take care of you at KEMH? On & on it goes.

      Without the unions at work the Island still moves on, albeit with some inconveience.

      Without the international worker Bermuda shuts down almost instantly.

  9. Silence Do Good says:

    Well I know what I will be doing and that is contributing both my BSPU and BIU union dues to charity. How dare Furbert and Hayward call for such an action under the People’s Campaign. I did not ask them to represent me under another group regardless of their personal beliefs. Their actions are irresponsible of their position and I being an expat paying both unions dues for many years will prove that not everyone supports their extra curricular activities using my unions and its power as a barging chip way outside of their mandate. I will make my point where it counts in the unions pocket book.

    • Say what says:

      Well quite your job and stop paying it. Go baxk home and get a job then..

    • hmmm says:

      Demand evidence that the money is going to charity.

      I have a feeling

  10. jrsmith says:

    United we stand divided we fall… Real Bermudians Stand Up…..

  11. democracy? says:

    i didn’t vote for Furbert….. using something that was never elected in the first place to try and dictate the actions of something that was, exactly the opposite of democratic…. BOOM, ‘people,’ ya right, hope they enjoy their long weekend prks

    • the truth will set you free says:

      No one voted for dictator Fahy either

  12. Pete says:

    The reverend nobody foreign tweed is not stopping me from work I got bills to pay

  13. rodney smith says:

    Real Bermudians talk to each other. That is not happening. How do I know? I’m getting calls from concerned persons who themselves are not calling and talking to the Unions, Mr. Brown, or Mr. Bean.

  14. 1 minute says:

    As a Bermudian living abroad, I have a pathway to citizenship in my new country, and will only take me 5 years. The Bermuda Government is only doing what is right. These people have given 20 years of their lives to Bermuda. Paid rent to Bermudian landlords, bought food and supplies from Bermudian compaines and volunteered to charities that helped Bermudians.
    The Government is doing what is right, so Bermudians, please do what is right and go to work.

    • Jus' Askin' says:

      Is this country the same size as Bermuda?

      Why are You choosing to live elsewhere?

      I will not disagree that they have contributed but how many billions have left this country to improve things for their families in their own countries?

      • hmmm says:

        It is international law, that there must be a pathway to status……The supreme Court ruling confirmed that….will only take one person to take their case to court and the floodgates will open.

        The pathways to status prevents the floodgates from opening.

        The OBA ARE protecting REAL Bermudians….why can’t you see through the PLP and arms of the PL noise and see the truth ?

        • Jus' Askin' says:

          I Do Not Have A Problem with People getting Status ;-)

          My Issue is the FACT that a Person(s) has been here for 15-20 years and No REAL Bermudian has been able to fill that Position. It is ALARMING :-(

          Legislation created by whom left us open like this?

          It is not about PLP or OBA for Me, as I DO NOT LIKE EITHER!!!

          Unfortunately the 1/3 of the voting population that agree with me are stuck with this “COIN”.


  15. Smh says:

    It’s not like the government has thrown down the welcome mat and invited everyone in. These are people who’ve lived here for years. Most of us have married some, invited them to our tables and homes have wined and dined with them, volunteered and weathered storms with them. They are – and have been our neighbors and friends. They rent our apartments and shop in our stores, sat beside us in church and wept with us in our tragedies. But yet they are not good enough to give basic belonger rights too? It’s not an influx but an inclusion

  16. Former Union Member says:

    There is a sector promoting this action simply to anger the majority of hard working Bermudians. So…go to work, talk to your neighbors, take your children to school. Do what REAL Bermudians do.

  17. rodney smith says:

    To ALL Bermuda, How did we get to where we are today? Please allow me to tell you. We are here only because of one reason, and one reason only. ***** The people have been whipped up into a frenzy as a result. Why have we in the OBA become so afraid to communicate our message to the people of Bermuda. We, (the OBA ) have dropped the ball in this regards . If we are to play and win, we must pick up our game. Mr. Premier, you’re the captain. Let’s play ball. GAME ON!

  18. Please listen says:

    I don’t support the island wide strike but please please can we have the immigration bipartisan reform so we can hear the pros and cons of the immigration bill? All we want to do is understand the benefits and challenges it may bring. My child was educated overseas, came home & took over a year to find a job that was not in his major but he took it to help the household. Will it be more of this? Please listen to us so we can listen to you.

    • Kat says:

      The problem your child had is not isolated to Bermuda – it’s worldwide. I have two young children and am obviously concerned they will face the same challenge in years to come. I agree with you that a discussion needs to take place. But to be fair, the OBA did try to have discussions on the immigration reform, to allow people to ask questions and get answers. But they were shut down by ignorance! I don’t hear the anti-reform group coming up with any alternatives or solutions – just a rant of ‘no, no, no’ like angry toddlers who don’t get their way. But it feels to me that they’re protesting against something that isn’t on the table. This proposed reform isn’t about changes to how work permits are issued. This reform isn’t about new foreigners coming in and taking jobs that currently unemployed Bermudians are qualified to do. That’s a whole other issue.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Whenever I see somebody complain that a degree was earned & then a job could not be found I have to wonder, what was that degree for?

      Having a degree in a vocation for which there is no demand is a total waste. There are plenty of Bermudians who have been assisted & encouraged to gain qualifications & then come back to fulltime jobs with rapid promotion to those showing potential as experience grows.

  19. Evie says:

    Michael Dunkley I must say you will go down as the worst Premier in Bermuda history.

    You don’t talk to the ppl of Bermuda and then you say that you have had consolation with the ppl of Bermuda and that is so far from the truth.

    You can’t say you want to get our feed back but already have all the paper work done and our moving forward.
    This is wrong

    You have everything and now want to dilute my vote. Your greed is astounding and pathetic when is enough enough this is just sicking

    So tired of the BS from both parties

    Bermuda has the worst history to me in the world on this small island. So much hate. We have not grown or progresses shame this is one sick island. SMDH

    • seriously? says:

      then leave.

    • Bermudian says:

      Then leave

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      I guess you were not around for the Dr Brown regime. Remember him? When all of the money disappeared & we are having an inquiry about it now?

  20. bill says:

    Get back to work! What a disgrace!

    We are talking about a handful of people becoming our brothers and sisters – not opening this to the Planet! If you are in Bermuda for 20 years contributing to our social well being then you have earned the right to stay!

    This is not a Union issue – this is a Union acting for Political gain of a particular Party! This is a human rights issue so get back to work!

  21. Triangle Drifter says:

    Premier Dunkley, get on with the Pathways legislation.

    All of the polls/surveys, no matter how unscientific they are, for & against, show that the vast majority is for Pathways. Do not be swayed by the noisy minority.

  22. Evie says:

    No surprise coming from you drift drift we all know where you stand on this issue. But when are you leaving its been 3 years since you said you where leaving get out leave SMH

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Well now, that is a very intelligent response. I don’t recall insulting you. Your behavior really demonstrates maturity.

      Further, you have me confused with somebody else. Not surprising.

      I have never said that I was leaving. The thought has crossed my mind. Kinda wish that I had sold out at the top of the real estate market to somebody who thinks that the PLP is just great. Would have left them holding the bag now that values & rents have plummeted so far.

      Oh & yes, pathways IS the right thing to do.

  23. PointGirl says:

    I am a BERMUDIAN and I DO NOT support The People’s Campaign !

  24. maggie benn says:

    Memo to PLP/BIU/PC/IRAG/CURB – as a Bermudian please note I did NOT VOTE FOR Chris Furbert, Rev. Tweed, or Jason Hayward or Lynn Winfield to run this country. As far as I remember NONE, NONE of your names were on the ballot papers.

    As a Bermudian I also wish to state that none of you self annointed and self appointed wolves in sheeps clothing dressed as “Olive Branches” or “The Peoples” interest groups speak for me or act on my behalf. Nor do you act in my name.

    I hope we are clear.
    A Bermudian Voter