Bernews Poll: 90% Say Gov Shouldn’t Back Down

August 18, 2011

[Updated with results] As locals are aware, the Bus Operators and Allied Workers Division of the Bermuda Industrial Union met and agreed to go on strike after bus driver Jennifer Harvey was fired for refusing to take a drug test after an accident which the Ministry said saw a passenger’s hand injured.

Transport Minister Terry Lister said, “As was highlighted in our statement last week, the bus operator in question, a four-year employee, has been given at least five opportunities since the accident on Friday, 24th June to take a substance abuse test – in accordance with internal policy.”

The BIU confirmed the drivers would “withdraw services effective immediately” and said, “The Union wishes the public to know that that over the past seven weeks they have worked diligently to resolve this matter with the Ministry of Transport, but to no avail.”

The last bus strike was in February of this year, which started after a bus driver was fired for calling in sick for three days in a row while working a part time job. After a strike lasting almost three days, the driver in question was given his job back, however was suspended for 5 weeks.

After that incident, Minister Lister said he was faced with the choice of “standing firm and dealing with this one man, or allowing the country to have the situation to escalate to something that could become a national strike at a time when the economy is challenged.” We will close the poll after a 24 hr period.

Update 10:40pm: After a 24 hour period, and over 1,000 people voting, the results of our unofficial poll is in. The question asked was what should Government do in regard to this bus strike.

The overwhelmingly majority [90%, 940 votes] said the Government should not back down, they should warn drivers who strike they will be fired, and follow through.

7 people voted to reinstate the driver, while 16 people [2%] voted to reinstate the driver after a suspension. 42 people [4%] voted to try another form of compromise, while 45 people [4%] selected ‘none of the above’.

poll aug 18 2011

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Comments (99)

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  1. Bottom line, we need to rid of them all and simply hire operators that does not wanna here the name of a Union or further more a gambling poker player Union leader at that.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Black Soil says:

      Govt…be a govt, a black govt of leaders that defies our critics! That shows leadership to command the respect of all!

      • Really? says:

        Why someone always has to mention black and white, it really makes me laugh? Shouldnt we be saying pink and blue???

        • 2nd that says:

          True say, this isn’t a black and white issue. please move on with life.

  2. Mike says:

    The votes aren’t tracking.

  3. Watching! says:

    Fire the ones that go on strike and have a recruitment drive for new drivers. It is not that hard to drive a bus.

    • SpeakWow says:

      We’ll carpool until they train up the new drivers. Like the broom brigades that cleaned up London after the riots, we need to reclaim our community.

    • Maddog says:

      The union is here to stay.

  4. Cathy says:

    you need a do not back down without the fire drivers who strike. I say don’t back down and don’t pay the drivers who strike.

  5. Scott says:

    wow…those poll results are pretty damn one sided lol

    • Scott says:

      i feel bad for the drivers that dont want to, but have to go with what the union says. we’ve all been in that position where we know somethign is wrong, but we’ll be left hanging on our own if we dont go with the flow…

      its easy to say do the right thing and dont strike..try to go to work.. but in reality, turning your back on a group that you may need for support is hard…

      • Keep Talking says:

        I don’t agree. They need to stand up for flippin principle. If the picket line collapses as it should they will be champions. They may be outcasts in the union, but hell you have do almost murder to be fired, so at least their jobs will be secure!

        • Scott says:

          yeah..i know.. i wish they would… i can just understand how hard it is to turn your back on support.

          then again, if there are as many as some believe.. they can pretty much be their own union against the union…

          from what i’ve heard though, once official strike is called, even those that want to work are not allowed too.. as in they cant get access to buses… makes things a bit hard!!

          • Onion says:

            But who has control of the bus depot? Why would the PTB keep them from accessing the buses?

            And even if that’s the case, hopefully, they will DO THE RIGHT THING like their fellow bus driver and use their personal vehicles to help get people to and from work.

            • Hudson says:

              The PTB is run by the government. The government is not the BIU (although it’s been questioned). If they want the keys to the buses, they can get them.

              • Onion says:

                That’s what I thought. That’s why Scott’s comment didn’t make sense to me.

                • Scott says:

                  ya i thought it was weird.. but thats what i’ve heard. supposedly when the BIU dictates strike.. the whole dept has no choice..

                  if im wrong then im happy to be.. thats just what i heard.

            • KARMA says:

              Bus drivers in favor of the strike have been known to remove the keys to all of the buses so that no one can work! I can guarantee you that this is what has happened today. This way they can fool the public that they are all in agreement. Unfortunately what the fools dont realize is that we now have internet which allows the truth to be seen for what is really going on. Those not in agreement with the strike who have been affected by not being able to gain access to the keys need to come forward and speak up0 publicly.
              On a next note: HELLO PREMIER, OBA, UBP(whats left) – YOUR SILENCE IS ABSOLUTELY DEAFENING!!!

            • Maddog says:

              Nobody,that why were in the situation now.

          • frustrated says:

            thats why they need to just stand their ground and whoever chooses to come to work will im sure this is one of those situations where it is just a select few that are pushing this issue to the lines… and if they stand their ground then at least we will get rid of the ones who are causing the issue there are plenty of pple out there who need jobs so losing a few weak branches couldnt be that traumatic to the bus system hell im up for the carpooling idea maybe more pple will follow suit and we can get rid of some of this congestion on the roads as well

          • Maddog says:

            Lister has said to tell bus drivers to show up for work, one thing he did not say was that ever bus needs to be service before it goes on the road.


      • Hudson says:

        They don’t have to just go with what the union says. That’s called being a sheep. They are all grown-ups. They’ve got the support of the public, and the government and if they go back to work despite the call to strike, they can stand tall that they’ve following their morals and they’re doing the right thing. This woman deserved to get fired.

        • Scott says:

          yeah…you’re of the public should prevail here. i do agree with you.. but i can also see how hard it would be to make that choice. its easy for us to say stand on principle because we dont have to choose it right now.

          who’s every had a good friend bash another good friend? the choice to speak up in defense or to remain silent is always there. its not always as easy as just “doing whats right”.

          • Hudson says:

            And that my friend is what separates men from boys. It’s a hard thing to do, I understand…

  6. Frankie says:

    Stop allowing this CLOWN of a union leader to hold beautiful Bermuda as hostage. stand and hold your ground Mr minister, as a Police officer any one I meet at the bus stops going my way will get a ride from me, and the rest of Bermuda should join in with me I aint even bermudian.

  7. 1 says:

    Bermudians, enough is enough! It’s time that Bermudians of all ages, race, and class get up and protest against the BIU. How can an organization claim to represent the people when they consistently hold our community at ransom? How can an organization claim to have our island’s best interest at heart when they further stain our tourism image?

    It’s definitely time that Bermudians rise up and let the BIU know exactly how we feel. Protest I say, protest directly outside the BIU headquarters in numbers!

    • Ha! says:

      There is a rally outside of City Hall today to protest the BIU and the Bus Drivers’ Strike. We can take it to the BIU and to Parliament! JUST SHOW UP!!!

  8. Changing Status says:

    They need to be fired if they choose to stick to this strike – for the sheer fact that they will do this again, and again, and again if they can get away with it and constantly win, they are acting as a rude child who gets what they want and never feels the consequences of their actions…. there are numerous unemployed residents who would kill for a job – they will be more than willing to work alongside those who do not strike.

  9. Curious Party says:

    1% says rehire the driver…anyone reckon its THE DRIVER that voted? lol!!!
    The union is a sham, and the government doesn’t seem to realise or care how this affects our tourists….

    • Human Rights says:

      Hold up! What do you mean the government doesn’t understand how this affects the tourists. So what are you saying, the government should give into the union and rehire the driver for the tourist sake?

      I think what the gov is saying is, we won’t condone bad behavior (though its early days) therefore you are fired.

      Your logic above doesn’t make sense, you feel the gov should avoid a strike for sake or tourist, meaning they should reinstate w/o that woman taking a test?!?!?!

      • Curious Party says:

        haha, no, I meant that if the government had any balls they would ensure a vote of no confidence in the union, the one who is calling the shots!
        They’ve done it before and they’ll cave again, thats what I mean! Sorry Human Rights, you mistook my intention! Fire the striking lot of them, give the regiment control until new drivers who are ANXIOUS FOR JOBS are trained!

  10. soon leavin' says:

    While I understand that the BIU and the government each feel they need to stand firm, I just don’t see that this is good for anyone! We cruisers will be disappointed in that we won’t be able to see/do the things we wanted to do, the locals will have difficulties getting to places, and if this type of thing happens frequently, we’ll take our tourist dollars elsewhere!

    I know the BIU doesn’t think ‘we’ are watching, but we are….and so are cruiselines!

    Hopefully this will be resoved quickly, but somehow I’m thinking I’m not gonna make it to Bermuda this time around!

  11. Face the Nation says:

    Union members who don’t agree with this strike should assemble at the Cabinet Building to voice their displeasure with the way that the union have decided to react to this situation .
    All documents including the drug policies and procedures leading up to the dismissal of the driver should be handed over to the office of the Ombudsman for heightened scrutiny .
    Regardless of the outcome the Presiding Ministers decision should stand as the final authority .

  12. soon leavin' says:

    Carnival has already pulled out for 2012 and while reading the Royal Gazette it mentioned another cruiseline that has pulled out for 2012. One other is going to Hamilton instead of St. George next year.
    There really isn’t any place to Walk to from what i can tell other than Sea Glass Beach and around the Dockyard. Taxi’s may be available, but then will you find one to get you back in time? unless you just do a tour with the taxi. i emailed several before the strike and some wanted $60 hr and min. 5hr. while i had read messages on who to email for a good tour and it said $40 hr 3hr and up. i couldn’t get one to agree to 3hr and $40hr. now with the strike they will be in even higher demand. Bikes…. how far can my legs take me? I could not find if this strike was affecting the ferries. At this time i am not booking an excursion or planning anything, i will wing it when we get off the ship. like someone said .. hurricane or strike. i leave on 8/25 and only have from 4pm sat. until 3:30 sunday in port.

    • Bedhead says:

      Check out Help give a ride to work Bermuda on Facebook. Post where you would like to go and when you would like to be picked up.

  13. soon leavin' says:

    This is serious:the comment here and the two above are already posted on CruiseCritic in the US.In case we thought this is not a total disaster for tourism in Bermuda.just read and absorb.

    This is too bad for all us cruise tourist…..but atleast they realize the negative impact on us & their image, whats sad is since the tourist industry is such vital there, there could be lots of business shut down & locals loosing jobs if this goes on for long……hoping all will be resolved soon…

  14. True Bermudian says:

    Q. How Should Government Handle The Strike?

    A. Fire everyone who strikes and dismantle the useless BIU one stone and brick at a time.

    Bermudians refuse to be held hostage by the BIU any longer.

    The BIU has RUINED Bermuda’s tourism trade.

    Now we need to RUIN the BIU.

    • KARMA says:

      100% AGREED!!!

      • Emeka47 says:

        AGREED! USE THEIR OWN TATICS ‘ UNITED WE STAND- DVIDED WE FALL” Seems like a divided Bus driver protest to me. I applaud all the drivers who see the need to work and take case of their families and commuters

  15. Free Thinker (Original) says:

    As I understand it, quite a few truck drivers are out of work, lets hire the. In two days, they will become accustomed to driving the buses. Then train others who are interested in becoming Bus Drivers.

  16. hardknox says:

    BDA has had to deal with strike and the negative impacts before and the country should prepare to do it again. Don’t let the mighty dollar dictate ethics. Is our administration willing to stand on principle? I hope so.

  17. Have some sense says:

    The government and the BIU both need to read this forum thread on posted JUST this evening. It begins with someone warning about the bus strike, and then……all the posters following who have cruises booked over the next weeks — they don’t seem too confident about their destination now.
    This entire situation makes no sense to me, and I support unions unless they’re being blockheaded or crooked. WHY has this driver refused to be tested 5 times???!!! As I understand it, if the result was positive she was promised rehabilitation and reinstatement. So can’t the BIU see well enough to question her? Either her drug habit is so bad, or she is so hooked on recreational use that she has absolutely no intention of getting straight. Are they allowing 1 person — who doesn’t seem on the surface to deserve the support — to pound another nail in Bermuda’s coffin?

    READ you fools!

  18. late worker says:

    I’m hoping someone alerts CruiseCritic etal to the fact that everyday folks living here are working out ways to help get people around despite the strike. We are our own guerrilla strike force for Bermudian hospitality!

    • Scott says:

      hahaha power to GSF

    • Let's Think About This... says:

      There was a poster by the name of @Onion Juice who advised travelers to post on the Facebook page “Help give a ride to work Bermuda”. As long as there are enough cars to go around, travelers should be good to go. Many Bermudians are supporting the page so fingers crossed we can keep tourism from going completely under.

  19. Hit back says:

    What we should do is, every member of the BIU whom disagrees with this strike acton should withdraw their membership until the bus drivers go back to work. This is affecting BIU members who depend on the buses to get to work and other places and they didn’t even give us all an opportunity to vote on the issue. They have no regard for the well being of their members who need this service yet take $12 out of their checks every week.

    Think about it. You can’t get to work because the buses are not running so you loose pay or you profit is affected due to lack of consumers because they can’t get to you, so your check ends up at $50 and before you even see it the $12 for the union dues is taken out. That is not right.

    Cut them short by ending your membership until they do what’s right because they will take your money regardless if you are cut short due to their actions and you can’t do anything about it because your a member.

    End membership until the buses run. Show them who has the power.

    Stand up Bermuda!!!!

  20. The Messenger says:

    Remember, the BIU also owns a gas station and the Liberty Theater….boycott those two entities and the Union will wake up once it gets bitten in its ass.

    • second says:

      @Messenger, totally agree!!
      Let’s start today Bermudians Stay away from Liberty, the Gas station and Neptune theatre.

      • Onion says:

        Actually, Liberty is privately owned. Not sure about Neptune.

  21. Chronic Backpain (original) says:

    Government should let the strike happen and not give in. We are at the end of another disasterous tourist season so no problem. Make the BIU back down for once. By backing down, as you have so many times, you enable the BIU and make them into a more powerful monster. STOP THE INSANITY NOW.

    The union must go – now is the time. DON”R GIVE IN TO THEM


  22. Sick Of It All says:

    This “Union” will bring Bermuda to its knees and as usual for a cause that has no moral value. If the union wants the public’s support for any of their legitimate grievances they need to stop holding us all at ransom for ridiculous reasons. If you’ve nothing to hide then take the test already… But if this goes on for weeks and then she agrees to the test you have to wonder if it was all just a stalling tactic while the drugs cleared her system! Who ends up being the losers? The hard working Bermudian public as usual!

  23. second says:

    Government, “Do not back down, warn drivers who strike they will be fired, and follow through”

    The Union refuses to recognize the issue – she did not follow procedure and even when given chances she still did not. If these drivers can go on strike under the current economic conditions than they do not need their jobs. Give them to those hurting for work. No social assistance should be afforded them either.

    Lets us keep car pooling to help others get through this!!!!!!

  24. Eastern says:

    Come on Bermudians; have you lost your memories? This strike is ILLEGAL. What happened to the 21 day strike notice? Remember that the Government forgave the Pro-Active bond for the Berkeley Project on the promise that there will be no more wildcat strikes. I now want my tax money back, but unfortunately for me and all the other tax payers, the BIU has not filed any accounts with the Govt. and probably have no money.

    In many western countries the government would fine the union for each day the ILLEGAL strike continued. But of course not only does this government have no back bone (or a leader – just a cog) but the BIU either have no money or they are hiding it behind the huge pile of uncompleted and unaudited financial statements on the desk of their bookkeeper that has been on strike for the last ten years!

  25. sandgrownan says:

    Call in the performance bond.
    Demand the financials or launch legal action.
    Fire all the striking bus drivers.

  26. Chronic Backpain (original) says:

    It is clearly time for Government to grow a back bone and a pair of balls and take legal action against the union. They are ruining this country and they will take everyone down with them – including the PLP.


    • sandgrownan says:

      She’s been remarkably silent. Unless of course she’s in the midst of preparing a verbose statement. I can’t wait for that (sarcasm).

      And where is the Delusional Damsel. She normally chimes in on matters like this.

      • haha says:

        The Premier does not have to say something. She has two capable Ministers engaged – Min Wilson from Labour and Min Lister from Transport.

        • sandgrownan says:

          Wilson has said the right things, so far, Lister has to perform this time (unless the rug gets pulled from under him again) after the last dismal performance.

          I wouldn’t say they are capable just yet. Let’s see how this pans out.

  27. True Bermudian says:

    12:30 PM Friday, August 18. Let every right thinking Bermudian who cares about Bermuda and our future assemble in front of BIU headquarters and show them they can’t push us around any more.

    BIU your time has come.

    No Justice. No Peace.

    We SHALL overcome. We WILL overcome. We MUST overcome in order to be free.

    By ANY means necessary.

    Bermuda Power. Power to the people.

  28. free up says:

    Where is derek Burgess….l will tell you……as a former Union boss himself……he is away WITH furbert telling him how to act…..but chris is too stupid and will not back down because he thinks in his twisted head that this is his legacy….which it will be…….but its not going to be remembered like cris thinks……he thinks he is going to come out shining…….l highly doubt that chris.

    This will fizzle out and in a few years he will be the PLP’s Works & Engineering Minister, because they will want a guy like him that shows “testicular Fortitude” (l cant believe the Premier said that about herself she must have raised Renee Webb’s top lip)

    But ya, its summer and the natives get restless, especially when you have a government that stays quiet (except for Kim Wilson) you get these actions because their following the example of their leaders…..which is truly the biggest mistake the people of bermuda have done, because none of these so-called politicians know anything about politics and governance…all they know is to spend money that isn’t there’s, justifing it in some rediculous way……and ofcourse they are professionals with the RACE CARD because they have been using it FOREVER even though we have been in the clear on that for many many years

    And on that note, there are more black men in jail because there are more black men then white……and there are more black men out of work because there are just more black men than white……Bermudians are lazy ignorant people white or black….they have no manners, their rude, they talk like idiots and because of the percentage of blacks versus white…lm telling you black people hate tourist(white) in bermuda……this stems from the church right to the unions hall.

    its the black people on this island that need to grow up and start thinking economics instead of $#@! the whiteman attitude in their jobs, there lives and at the church’s with all of their “they and them” crap.

    And again this government wants this because independence is only $200million away, and nobody will have to put their financials in then…Wake up this looks so obvious to me.

    • The Fact says:

      As a black bermudian myself, some may find your comments are offensive, HOWEVER, they are true.

  29. free up says:

    the foreign companies know it thats why their all leaving… would be like Panama, we will just take the money and builings and tell them to f$%%%$## off.

  30. free up says:

    and all you dumb bermudians will agree with them because your all financially starved no matter how much you make …greedy bast##ds.

    And next it will third reich type sh#T with their propaganda machine. BYE Bye bermuda as we knew it…..hello King and Queen Latifa!

  31. Unionist says:

    If your Union agrees to a policy on your behalf then as a member you must abide by it. That’s what the BIU must remind it members.

    For the Government to reinstate the operator after repeated refusals to comply with the Union-agreed policy will set a precedent that any operator in the future who has an accident, even if someone dies, will have the right to refuse to submit to a substance test.

    She obviously has reason to avoid the test and through her avoidance, perhaps reason she should not be behind the wheel. The policy was adopted by PTB way back in the late 80s to protect the traveling public, as possibly is her dismissal.

    We have suffered enough persons including those at the top ignoring the rules, it is way past time it is brought to an end.

    • liars says:

      in the end…..the union and the government is one…… voted them in because. like Obama, they were black… stupid! This country would not be like this if Pamela Gordon had have stayed in power for a few years……… would have been a beautiful place………….but she was hard….she went by the books………and you all didn’t like it. prosperity grows out of hard work and balance sheets……….if you don’t work hard to put in your accounting…….you can’t possibly know how bad the economy really is….therefore, we are in this state because of the black persons inability to see that white people only want justice and prosperity too. I, as a white man, am sooo tired of hearing black people calling me “they and them”……its all excuses.

      Get the books strait so we can really see where we are. I should be able to go on-line and see where the monies going…..instead of it only being in the paper when its too late.

      Accountability…….if we didn’t put in our books, we would be arrested and put in jail if we didn’t show up for court to answer the accountant generals inquiries.

      So maybe we should hold the government responsible and demand these books or we will all go on strike and bring it all to our knee’s. You have to be accountable, this is unbelievable.

      The government is playing hop scotch with the union at our expense. All the foreign ports are covering these stories of incompetence.

      • Onion says:

        “Accountablility”, thank you. That was one of the PLP’s favourite words back in their election platform of 1998 along with “transparency” and “the sunshine of public scrutiny”

      • ‘Accountability has no colour. Nor does “transparency” or “sunshine of public scrutiny”. @ Liars please leave issues of colour out of your message as they ruin your vaild point.

        The current situation with the BIU is just a microcosm of what Bermuda has become today, and largely commencing with the E-wart Administration. After all, he showed us in so many ways how to ignore regulations, rule, the law and even Bermuda’s constituton. And if he was unable to by-pass the rules then he simply ignored the questions. Sadly, the Cox Administration continues with this practice, albeit to a watered down “not so in your face” version.

        When people at the VERY TOP OF GOVERNMENT DO NOT COMPLY their own country’s rules, regulations, reporting requirements, and even the country’s constitution, why are we then so surprised when such similar behaviour and similar actions are emulated and adopted by us, the smaller people? Why should the BIU follow the rules? They have been shown by the very best how to break the rules! As have we all!!!

        When leaders fail to lead, when they so blatently fail to follow the laws of the land, when they are so clearly lacking in moral conscience, befret of setting any kind of good example, no good can come of it. Bermuda is now reaping what this government has been sewing for some years. We have no right to be surprised and angry at the disappointing actions of our Unions and of our
        people. Again we have been shown the way by the very best!

        It is time for ALL OF US, the people of this country, to get back our moral conscience,say NO to unacceptable and illegal (lets not mix up the true words – and try and pretend “unethical” is more acceptable!)behaviour and take back our country and HOLD THE PEOPLE IN OFFICE, no matter how high the office, ACCOUNTABLE AND TRANSPARENT FOR THEIR ACTIONS. Only then will they truely bask in the “sunshine of public scrutiny” – anything less is totally not acceptable.

    • Curious Party says:

      perfect reasoning! why are YOU not the union head?! Kudos to you Unionist.

  32. Visitor says:

    I have travelled to Bermuda at least a dozen times and each time I come back and use the bus system I shake my head………what are you thinking when you are rude to us? When you ignore us and just plain make life difficult for tourists. Why would we want to come back and help your economy out. Get rid of the troublemakers and hire people who want to work

  33. Privatisation. says:

    SOmebode mention Privatisation….Guess what! that was a great idea…because with that…when this situation would have came up she would be fired and the union could not do anything about it. And those who want to stick up for their fellow co-worker would join the unemploment lines as well. This is one service that government need to let go.

    • Mack says:

      Only problem with privatisation is that it will have to be heavily subsidised by government (our tax dollars) or $15 a bus…it is not a profit generator for the government.

  34. frustrated says:

    This is disgusting I myself am tired of the union striking over “cry wolf” situations.I believe (correct me if i am wrong) mandatory drug testing is in the employment contract to start and especially if there is an accident she should have been fired when she first refused the testing now the public is subjected ONCE AGAIN to a hold On transport because they are backing up someone who has obviously done wrong…. how are we supposed to support the union when it comes to a serious issue when all they do is “cry wolf” for these silly situations…….YOU CANT TAKE YOURSELVES SERIOUSLY SO HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO TAKE YOU SERIOUSLY…..GET YOUR SH!T

    • liars says:

      l guess “we” is another way of saying “white” on top of “them” and “they” and not to forget “you people” as quoted from EB.

      Hey the PLP have the checkbook now, remember?

      However, what the PLP does not have, is accountability for that checkbook.

      So “we” are to blame, l guess.

      And if “white” people hadn’t have been so tight.

      And if “them” lot hadn’t have made me sit in the back of the bus.

      And if “they” didn’t have that nice house.(which “they” can never afford cause “they” are always working to pay it off.

      You reap what you sew………….”we” told you so in 1998 and “we” are telling you again in 2011. Get your s%$t together and vote the PLP OUT, they have ruined the checkbook with arrogance and contempt.

      It is “THEIR” doing that is the issue here and nothing else.

      What do you have to say about that MS.Furbert? (with all do respect) lol

      I am just wondering when my door is going to get a heavy unformiliar knock!

  35. SexyBlacque says:

    Government, stand firm on your decision. All she had to do was provide you with a urine test, whether you requested hair folicle or not. She refused 5 times.

    BIU Executives need to stop condoning such blatant and irresponsible behaviors from its members and start representing the real issues that are being put on the table such as the current economy status and how their members will cope. They need to stop was wasting time on foolishness, when their members know better.

    • frustrated says:

      and either way she wouldnt have lost her job that is what is so crazy….this whole thing could have been avoided even if it was positive it would have been drug counselling and suspension then back to work but NO she has to bring the whole island down with her i guess its true that misery loves company

  36. Down de toilet says:

    Its too bad the government leaders dont read this page and see what we the people feel and want! We need a government who can stand up to the union. A union is good if it is doing good for the people who support it but these last few strikes over the past couple of years where people have been fired for whatever reasons, the reasons were good reasons and those people should not have been reinstated. Its time those who pay and support the union stand up to it, if they feel what they are doing is wrong and we all know what is going on now is wrong! …its out right Stuiped and rediculous! The woman driver was in the wrong and she got what she deserved. It is a priviledge to have a job especially one in which you are in charge of a lot of peoples safety and not just a right. When you do wrong like refusing to take a drug test you have just told everyone who rides public transportation that there is one rule for them and a different rule for the rest of us, something that makes us doubt the safety of all buses we ride on. Get rid of her and get back to work!

  37. Really? says:

    PRIVATISATION!!!! thats the way forward plenty of private sector folks who would have a stab at the bus service, it would be cleaner, more efficent and most likely drive down costs because truthfully no corporation is more greedy then our own elected government!

  38. Let's Think About This... says:

    I’m a young person watching what the present leaders are doing. This is what I’ve learned: I can refuse to hold up my end of a public civil servant contract I willingly and knowingly signed because my Union will say it’s a violation of my rights, and insist I keep my job or the entire service be withdrawn from the public. I don’t have to keep my word if it means I might suffer. What I couldn’t get away with in high school I can now get away with in the adult working world. Guess what? I’m next in line to hold the reins of this country as the next generation of leaders. I don’t want to deal with this mess that you present leaders can’t seem to sort out. Stop reveling in the right to say NO (you would think after years of being emancipated, black-based organizations would have gotten over this), and start making decisions for the benefit of the country as a whole instead of just your pocket.

    To those union members who don’t support this, I understand it’s hard to stand against the hand that feeds you. I applaud any stand you are able to take. The public does see what you’re doing, and are grateful. We can say not all hope is lost because of people like you.

    To the Union leaders that are allowing this to take place, you are setting the worst possible example for the upcoming generations. Do not say, “I don’t know why our young people are behaving so badly,” when we have people such as you condoning behavior like this. You’re causing hardship to those members who are honest and hardworking. Not everyone makes money off calling strikes like you do.

    To the Union leaders that don’t agree with this, if there are any, you need to speak up a bit louder. You weren’t, or shouldn’t have been rather, elected to go along with the flow. You were chosen to make a difference so please, make that choice. Yes, you could lose your position and your nice paycheck, but nothing will ever change if you remain silent. People will remember those who stood up for right even when it was againste th flow.

    To the Government/Ministry of Transportation, if you cave in, lawlessness island-wide could take over. This is like that child that doesn’t want to clean their room when you tell them to. Do you say, “Ok, you can do when you’re ready”? Heck, no! Yes, you run the risk of sounding like a dictator telling people when and where. But you have to take a stand at some point. This is drug testing, not “I’ve been sick, but I’ll be in next week”. You cannot allow people under the influence to operate vehicles that can kill many people in a single incident. Everyone who is a civil servant understands this, and is subject to random drug tests. Why issue a stand down for someone who doesn’t want to comply after agreeing to terms such as not driving under the influence? I know it’s easier and “for the greater good” of the country and tourism to back down, but this will only bring more and bigger problems in the future. And each time a problem like this comes up, you will have to back down every time or face a strike. BIU cannot be allowed to behave as such simply because they have the right to. I have the right to catch the bus to a destination, and by striking that right has now been violated. What about that?

    Stop wasting my tax dollars doing things like this. Let the honest workers get back to their jobs, fire those who want to call the shots, and hire people who are committed to providing a good service. There are plenty of them out there.

    • 2nd that says:

      Amen! AMEN AMEN!!!! this is exactly how I feel. thank you for taking the time to elaborate the truth. As a fellow young bermudian I agree with you. this strike is nonsense.

    • No Respect says:

      VERY WELL SAID!!!!!

    • Changing Status says:

      As another young bermudian, i couldn’ have said it better myself – this truly was a brilliant speech. I hope some day you will hold one of these positions and make bermuda the great island we want it to be. x

    • DL says:

      Thank you for an excellent letter. You made all your well thought-out points clear and “to the point”. Thank you for showing that our young people do not all just sit on the wall, there are hopefully more young people like you who take their role in the island’s future seriously.

    • Annoyed Young Bermudian says:

      I totally agree with what you said. it is shameful that we as young people will have to take over from this mess in the future. change needs to happen and quickly before our beautiful island home is destroyed by people who don’t know how to deal with “power and status”

    • Davie Kerr says:

      As an elderly white status Bermudian (and proud of it), “let’s think about this”, I don’t care whether you are black, white, or any shade in between: I think this is an excellently presented argument, and I commend you for having had the courage to publish it for the rest of us to read. Let’s hope that it’s also read by someone sufficiently high up to be able to influence Goverment thinking on such matters, and is acted upon accordingly.

    • Vote for Me says:

      @Lets think about this – Your post ‘I’m a young person watching what the present leaders are doing’ is quite encouraging. Thank you for taking the time to write such a thoughtful and comprehensive commentary – Bermuda needs mre people like you. Remember that there are many positive leaders to model yourself after – do not focus on the negative ones.

      I trust that everyone will learn some lessons from this latest episode and that the random stikes will stop happening with such frequency.

      It is clear that the public does not have all the facts about the situation and it is therefore difficult to comment. What is also clear is that the general public is getting more and more frustrated with the Union. The Union will have to be careful in future before it loses the public’s general support.

  39. Pastor Syl says:

    I believe that we are always exactly where we should be at any given moment. I also believe we must give thanks for everything, even, or especially, when it looks like disaster to us.

    That being said: Thank you very much, Ms. Harvey (bus driver) and the leadership of the BIU! Look at what you have wrought!!!
    Bermudians have finally said ‘enough is enough’ and are pulling together in an unprecedented way!
    More than 300 people, including bus drivers who don’t agree with the strike action, have banded together and are engaged in ferrying others, both tourists and locals alike, to their destinations!
    Just yesterday, I could have stuck my thumb or even my bared leg out looking for a lift and been unsuccessful.
    Terry Lister: Thank you for sticking to your guns. Right is right, especially since Ms. Harvey was not at risk of being fired if she tested positive. In addition, once three days had passed, a urine test would not be entirely accurate, since cocaine would no longer be detectable by that time, so a follicle test would be entirely appropriate.

  40. What is going on? says:

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Bermuda Government do not back down……. please stop this foolishness. It’s ILLEGAL……fine them, fire them….. rehire the good ones.
    Get rid of this Union, Mr. Furbert should resign, he is a disgrace to Bermuda.

  41. Legal Eagle says:

    Public Transportation must be legally declared an ‘Essential Service’ in BDA and disputed resolved ONLY by ‘binding arbitration’– rather than holding INNOCENT commuters(both locals and tourists) to ransom to the great detriment of Bermuda. Will our elected politions EVER do this–in the interests of ‘the people’ rather than the Union leadership who even resort to intimidating their own members!!

  42. * says:

    lets not use the bus for a day see how they would feel

  43. SML says:

    90% and brother Furbert thinks the majority are in favor for the strike.
    wake up Furbs!

  44. Rockfish#2 says:

    Had this poll been conducted in the USA, it would be described as a landslide! What else does the Government need to take decisive action?

  45. charles says:

    BIU we’ll see your 21 days and raise you 21 days.

    Seriously, you guys are under estimating the power of the social media for people to get around the inconvenience of not having public transportation. People are out of work, and those with cars, with not much to do will gladly provide services.

    And now that you have a gas station and a theatre, you too are vunerable. Your ranks are split BIU, and I bet you won’t get support from any of the other divisions. On top of all this, you need to provide members with a financial report?

    Mr. and Mrs. Bermuda have not forgotten the previous issue with the other employee who was misusing sick leave and are still fuming about what happened.

    BIU…better pull the plug on this one because you won’t win. Even a compromise at this stage would taste sour! Unfortunately, I don’t think you will back down. It seems you would rather take this issue to the streets.

    But hey, go ahead. This is a different day. People have options and aren’t afraid to use them! See you on the corner Bro….!


  46. stern says:

    Government: Don’t even think about backing down! Out of the question!
    Bus Driver: Resign and let this country get back to its normal state!

    Like the good old saying goes: “EASY IS BETTER THAN HARD” Stop the madness!

  47. jack says:


  48. dawn de toilet says:

    I have said this the last time they pulled a strike during the height of the tourist season to make buses and ferries a “mandatory service” where they cannot not go out on strike.If so they face a heavy fine and a court date. British Columbia has such a rulling in their province so that when there is a bus or ferry issue it has to be debated and settled without disturbing necessary services that could cripple a country. Time we modernized as these are essential services when we are trying to lesson the amount of cars and pollution and delays that they make to our small island. I think its just time for a change in the bus drivers that dont want to work, the union itself and the government. There are a lot of us out here unemployed that could do high paying government jobs and driving the busses.