Video: BIU President On Situation On Docks

October 25, 2017

[Updated] Following the recent industrial action on the Hamilton docks, BIU President Chris Furbert held a press conference today [Oct 25] to provide an update on the situation.

Mr Furbert said, “Let me just say that it’s very unfortunate when we have these sort of things take place in our country. But I can confirm that last week Wednesday a manager was terminated from Stevedoring Services. He was terminated after 27 years of employment.

“Now while we do recognize that he is a manager, he actually began his employment back in 1990. He became a manager in 2015, so he’s only been a manager for just about two years now. So he came out of the ranks, he worked his way up to be a foreman, prior to him becoming a manager – he was a foreman for several years.

“So suddenly, the workers became very concerned that one of their colleagues that they worked with for 25 years in the ranks with them, a manager for two years, and all of a sudden he finds himself out of a job. They thought that was grossly unfair and, as a result of that, they had a conversation with management and then the workers downed tools on Thursday.”

The BIU President said they recognize the company’s right to choose the management team, and “never insisted he be given back his manager’s job” but asked if there was another position in the company rather than “take his employment from him.”

14-minute video of the full press conference:

Dock workers returned to work yesterday morning, and the Government has confirmed that both the BIU and Stevedoring Services have agreed to voluntary arbitration.

Update 5.58pm: Polaris CEO Warren Jones said, “To be clear, the responsibility for all major personnel decisions rests with me. Every manager within the operation reports to the CEO, and I am ultimately responsible for all decisions at Stevedoring Services Limited [Polaris Holding Company Ltd].”

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Comments (43)

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  1. SaltySailor says:

    So what’s the full story? I’m sure he wouldn’t have just got the boot for no reason.

    • X oba voter says:

      I think the OBA/UBP should go up the hill and start a hunger strike. LOLOL opps to weak and not strong enough.


      • Double S says:

        Not weak, we just respect the tenets of democracy, whilst the other side believe in group rule, illegal blockades and threats to get your way.

      • really says:

        wow, the PLP really suckered you in with the divisive us and them propaganda didn’t they.

        PLP don’t love you.

      • Get out while you can says:

        Spoken like a true little fascist.

      • sandgrownan says:

        Working for all Bermudians as always eh?

      • bdaboy says:



      • Earth watch police says:

        What are you a communist sit down and hush what’s next ethnic cleansing .The opposition can say whatever they like don’t worry yourself after one more election it will be 36 plp seats Bermuda deserves this.

      • Mark says:

        if strength is whining and complaining and breaking the law until you get your way, you can have that but maybe you should move to the US to be with your fellow Trumpsters. We don’t want you here.

    • Truths says:

      Agree! It must have been something worse than drunk driving a ferry into a dock or drug driving a school bus full of kids into a row of parked cars on East Broadway. Those people didn’t get fired so this guy must have REALLY done something AWFUL.

  2. Family Man says:

    Couldn’t the BIU offer the man a job in their accounting dept? It could only be an improvement.

    • Zevon says:

      Or at their gas station, or looking after thier extensive private property portfolio?

  3. joe blow says:

    And now the rest of the story please……

  4. David says:

    Ok fair point I suppose. But why did the workers have to immediately down tools? Why not at least give some notice, and handle the situation like professional adults? I’m sure now I’ll be branded a racist. Only in Bermy :)

  5. joe blow says:

    This guy is a joke! Mob rules went out in the 60s

  6. Double S says:

    Joke of a Union…blatant abuse of power.

    If the employees don’t have to follow the CBA (and remember this action was for a non-union member), then why do the employers?

    • Rockfish#1 and#2 says:

      Double S
      Short answer……power play and double standards!

  7. Onion Juice says:

    Thank you Mr.Furbert for clarifying the situation and letting the public know that YOU were notified AFTER the WORKERS were not pleased with what transpired.
    Some people believe that Mr.Furburt wakes up mornings and says stop working. Mr. Furbert works for the workers and he is told by the workers what their demands are.
    Workers get mistreated and there is a process that takes place, and being he is the spokes person he is vilified, just like Ottie and Dr.Gordon etc.
    So take ya stale milk and go make yogurt.

    • Weighth loss says:

      I will not eat yogurt. I’m on a diet.

    • sandgrownan says:

      …why was the dude terminated? Before you get all indignant, and puff out your chest with faux outrage..ask why the guy was terminated.

      • Marge says:

        So why the hell wes he discharged ? and to think he was not a union member… rumours are out there about this individual…

        • Sigh says:

          RUMOURS….being the KEY word….For the record he WAS a Union Member for 25 years of the 27 he has worked on the Dock…he could not longer be a Union Member once promoted to Manager…Get the FACTS instead of following rumour…..SMH

    • SaltySailor says:

      To be fair, how was HE ever going to be notified BEFORE the WORKERS knew what had transpired?

      • Onion Juice says:

        My whole point, he doesnt cause diruptions(like you all label him as).
        Now move to de head of de class.

    • jt says:

      CBA broken again. No notice and the dismissed employee was not a union member. If they don’t intend to abide by it why sign it? No mystery in that answer.
      If the union’s not at fault here then who should be reimbursing losses?

    • Starting point says:

      My friend just got let go from a bank after 12 years with them. Who do I contact at the BIU to arrange for the dock workers to down tools until she is reinstated or given a new job with the same pay as before?

      Same scenario – someone, a Bermudian, who the BIU does not represent got fired. Or does the BIU need a photo of the individual before they decide who to support?

    • Earth watch police says:

      Biu president makes more money than the premier.

  8. Joonya says:

    Berrrrrmyoooda is anotha werrrld…. 700 miles at seeeea…

  9. The real Terry says:

    O J as usual u talk out of both sides of your mouth you say that when workers are mistreated there is a process that takes place. Why was this process not followed in this case . Mr. Furbert certainly didn’t clarify why he was terminated, guess he didn’t want to make him look bad. The worker was not a member of the BIU unless he paid privately as no dues had been forwarded to them for 2 years since this person had been in management. Why don’t you let us know what the real reason was that he was dismissed as u seem to know everything

  10. Kevin says:

    Anarchy rules …now i will take that back if the reason for being let go is unjustified ..but surely if someone is warranted to be let go how can we allow group rule to force a different situation
    It boggles my mind , but then again the Unions have never played fair its their way or they will make it their way

    • Onion says:

      Even if the firing was unjustified the workers still can’t wipe their feet with the CBA and the law and hold the island hostage. They should issue strike notice.

  11. cpm says:

    Under a previous administration we would be marching
    So the ships returned unloaded which affected my buisness-can I claim from the Union for loss of earnings?

  12. Real Onion says:

    ILLEGAL strike.

  13. Rockfish#1and#2 says:

    After all the mutual backslapping between Jones and Furbert, the rubber now meets the road.

  14. Isaac H says:

    Ok… It ssems pretty straight forward, however, after twenty seven years is a long time.
    What infraction was reason enough to say gdt crackin?
    We… I… Want this reason if general public is effected then we must know! We have the right once we are drawn in!

  15. Mark says:

    Unfortunate? Thats an understatement. The BIU constantly breaks the law and gets away with it. That is unfortunate. I would like to know if they have provided their financials to the govt as they are also required to do by law.

  16. Up D hill says:

    He came up through ranks , what does that mean your going to miss him or something, boo hoo hoo Chris Furbert grow up !! Idiots!!

  17. Jus' Wonderin' says:

    I NEED to get a union job lmfao don’t think I’d ever be fired! :D

  18. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    This last strike must have cost this country millions.

    There was no mention of the cost of returning containers to the USA.

    Is the union guilty of the misuse of power ?

    The union was created to negotiate on behalf of its members when they call for strike they hurt them selves.

    “Be careful how you pick your grapes , some are sweet and some are sour.”