Premier Burt: ‘Even A Monopoly Must Act Right’

October 4, 2018 | 38 Comments

“The Government is committed to supporting fair business practices that meet the highest standard of corporate community responsibility,” Premier David Burt said today, adding that “even a monopoly must act right.”

Background Summary

Yesterday BELCO’s parent company Ascendant Group announced the “departure” of four senior executives — Denton Williams, Michael Daniel, Carol Ross-DeSilva & Zehena Davis — saying that ”two have resigned and two positions were made redundant.”

The four executives, combined, had been with the company for over 80 years, and they marked the second group of employees to leave the company recently, with three staff members having been made redundant last month.

This morning, BELCO workers gathered outside the building and attended a meeting in the afternoon, and Union officials confirmed that the Electrical Supply Trade Union [ESTU] “will be instituting a work-to-rule and demand the immediate reinstatement of the four qualified, displaced Bermudians.”

Premier & Ministers Meet With ESTU Executive

Premier and Minister of Finance David Burt, Minister of Transport and Regulatory Affairs Walter Roban and Minister of Home Affairs Walton Brown today “met with the Executive of the Electricity Supply Trade Union in the wake of the departure of four senior Bermudian executives from BELCO,” the Government confirmed.

ESTU meeting Bermuda October 2018

Premier’s Comments

The Premier said, “It was important to meet directly with the workers’ representatives who are justifiably concerned at a pattern of action by the CEO and the Board which is simply not in keeping with the community responsibility we expect from the company.

“The membership’s reaction to this growing and seemingly deliberate culture of uncertainty that has only affected Bermudians is not something this Government will ignore.

“The management and Board of Ascendant have a responsibility to their shareholders first; but my responsibility and the responsibility of the Government is to the people.

“As the Union and its members work through these issues, the Government is committed to supporting fair business practices that meet the highest standard of corporate community responsibility. Even a monopoly must act right,” the Premier added.

You can view our ongoing updates on the matter here.

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Comments (38)

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  1. Bullwinkle T. Mooseknuckle says:

    Belco management and diapers should both be changed regularly and for the same reason….
    This is about sense of entitlement.
    And a representative of a church is there…on work permit……sad truth ovit.

  2. Wtf says:

    This is not a union issue! Why are they involved!

  3. Investigate TeleCommunications as Well. says:

    The government should investigate a certain telecommunications firm. They have let many go quietly while keeping their overseas consultants.

  4. sandgrownan says:

    So, in other words, a non statement from Bitcoin Dave.

  5. Ringmaster says:

    How about a PLP Government acting right Premier Burt? Remember the cement company?
    As to jobs, your push for fintech and blocktrain will reduce jobs for Bermudians. How many Bermudians have the skills needed? The few jobs that might be created in Bermuda will be filled by expats.

  6. Jt says:

    The premiers public support of this industrial action will do wonders for that business confidence rating.

  7. Redrose says:

    But why hasn’t burt met with the belco management? How can he base anything on one side of the story? I thought his doors were always open to business?

  8. cpm says:

    Must be time for a march from Tweed [work permit rabble rouser] and the peoples campaign or perhaps a pretend hunger strike, meanwhile , Cayman is doing ok

    • mixitup says:

      You mean that Sand Bar with Hotels & Condo’s streched for miles upon miles, with a disenfranchised local population who no longer feel that as their home? No thank you.

      • Politricks says:

        Bet you have never have actually spoken to or know any Caymanians.

      • Vigilante says:

        Beware the source of your information mixitup, as you purport to state facts based upon opinions as previously spouted by another famous person, his opinions themselves being based upon his own unusually narrow view of the world…

      • sandgrownan says:

        You know, Cayman isn’t as esthetically pleasing as Bermuda, but it is significantly more progressive and liberal, and has a growing economy.

        Bermuda’s economy continues to shrink, largely because of the xenophobia of Bermudians.

        • Ooooookay says:

          But have you spoken to any of them?!?! You da say that they are progressive and their economy is growing, but they do now own their own country. Whenever the folks are here from Cayman that I know see that we’re having industrial action, they are happy that someone is standing up because in Cayman they’ll just sit there and take it because they don’t have a choice.

          • sandgrownan says:

            Many.

            But, I suspect the one you talk to have some fanciful notion of “birthright” that actually has zero value, and it’s favoured over, you know, putting food on the table.

            Sounds familiar doesn’t it.

      • Anbu says:

        Ever even been to cayman mix? They are exactly what we used to be circa 1980s. Ya u have your bermudian equivalents wrapped up in misinformation but it is a much more friendly and accomodating place to live and work. Their economy is booming compared to ours. And the vast populous has zero problem with it.

    • High Road says:

      Does Peoples campaign even exist any more?

  9. What says:

    Tell that CEO what’s what Burt! March on BELCO and put him out!

  10. Jt says:

    He’s trying to build a Fintech garage while the house is burning.

    • sandgrownan says:

      He actually doesn’t know what to do – his body language says it all, he’s uncomfortable, ill at ease, out of his depth

      • Shareholder says:

        I’m generally pro Business, pro Bermuda Inc – and I think it’s high time we recognized that selling off the country’s banks, utilities, airports to Wall St traders is neither. These people are in it to make a short term buck squeezing the asse, screwing the employees and then moving on. So the once proud Bank of Bermuda is a shell of its former self while it’s most innovative departments are now elsewhere ensconced. BTC, ha ha ha… has anybody been following how leveraged Digicel is and their pushing those obligations into the future – meanwhile, the owner is one of Europe’s richest men. Our Chinese airport, a totally moronic deal that has given away a profitable asset for a cookie cutter facility the scope of which is totally unneeded – anybody else seen those empty Chinese facilities across Africa given away by the rulers for five pieces of silver? So it appears that the profiteers’s next target is BELCO, er Ascendant (what an idiotic name). BELCO employees, stick to your principles even it if means shutting down the generators, you are doing the right thing.

        By the way, I suggest Col Burch keep a warier eye on a certain other entity, there is a recent deal there that is a complete and utter betrayal of Bermudians and all their efforts – I bet that one was fewer silver pieces.

  11. The Premier should find out the truth behind the last business that let 13 locals go at once. I am sure those people would have a lot to say. Very sad that these businesses can do as they like without any repercussions. Bermuda is not for Bermudians of any color. It’s all about the foreign workers. Sad that this island has come down to this.

  12. eyes wide open says:

    “The Government is committed to supporting fair business practices that meet the highest standard of corporate community responsibility,” Premier David Burt said today, adding that “even a monopoly must act right.”

    but it dosn’t apply to the Minister of National Security!

  13. 2 Bermudas says:

    Bitcoin Burt ain’t got a clue just like his mate titty milk Caines!! I thought de economy was booming?!?!? Ha ha ha!!

  14. Kevin says:

    Another example of being well beyond their depth. The PLP don’t know business they don’t own any or any that are still in operation. Burt and Co. don’t know what to do except flex a muscle but cant figure which muscle to flex. Every day it is becoming alarmingly clear they simply are clueless.
    We are in quicksand Bermuda and the sooner a lot of you stop being so racially motivated we may have a chance at actually surviving …stay with this circus and more will have no choice but to leave to find work

  15. What says:

    The BELCO CEO was brought in to do a hatchet job on the company to make the books look good and to attract investors for next round of upgrades etc.

    Next step is to go after the pension and benefits program which is why he got rid of HR personnel and has them under a gag order as part of their compensation exit package.

    I worked for BELCO for 30 years and was given a choice to retire now or wait for the new pension plan which I was told is going to make a mockery of our years of service and commitment to the company. So I got out with my package as I had no other choice!

    Keep watching this channel Bermuda. Watch what happens next. The CEO is upset that he could not get his team in so he is reorganizing and advertising for people with skills that are combined and no one locally has completely.

    • LaV says:

      “reorganizing and advertising for people with skills that are combined and no one locally has completely.”

      Skills…like a basic grasp of English language spelling and grammar?

  16. Joe Bloggs says:

    “This morning, BELCO workers gathered outside the building and attended a meeting in the afternoon, and Union officials confirmed that the Electrical Supply Trade Union [ESTU] “will be instituting a work-to-rule and demand the immediate reinstatement of the four qualified, displaced Bermudians.”

    Ok, if the ESTU wants to run Ascendant and make management decisions then buy all the shares and take it off the BSX. Those who own the company are the ones to manage it.

    As the Honourable Premier said, “The management and Board of Ascendant have a responsibility to their shareholders first; but my responsibility and the responsibility of the Government is to the people.”

  17. Infidelguy says:

    What does Burt think is so unfair about the layoff off of 4 senior executives with 80+ years of combined service?

  18. Infidelguy says:

    Why is the Union only asking for the 4 executives to be reinstated? What about the other employees that were laid off? This smacks of elitism!!

    I guess the PLP’s Bermudians First mantra only applies if you fall under a particular economic class!!!

    • Anbu says:

      Yup and watch what happens to us customers once gov gets them their jobs back. Belco is going to SLAM us with higher fees next time round to compensate for the money they werent allowed to save. Not saying its right but i bet thats what happens. Thanks plp. Again.

  19. Jack Tail says:

    the real problem is they now gotta bow down to the steeple to stay on the gravy train, the issue with gomint and the union being one and the same they can never make hard decisions based on reality, government should not be dictating to businesses or companies

  20. question says:

    What right does a government have to step in when employees resign? They don’t have the right to do that?

  21. PANGAEA says:

    “Never put your hands in another mans pocket “.

  22. Y-Gurl says:

    How about you fix the monopoly part, lots of things will come out of that including much much lower rates

  23. aceboy says:

    Doesn’t anyone else find it odd that workers are threatening action over senior executives , AKA MANAGEMENT, resigning? They keep being referred to as workers. Fake news and faux outrage.

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