Overtime Ban Lifted On Hamilton Docks

September 1, 2011

[Updated] BIU President Chris Furbert held a press conference this afternoon [Sept.1] and said the overtime ban on the docks has been lifted, and port workers have agreed to work overtime starting from today, and will also work on Labour Day.

Mr Furbert said, “Stevedoring Services will rescind their proposal for layoffs until the conclusion of the arbitration process. And in addition the men have agreed – in the interest of the country – the overtime suspension they had in place, they will lift that until the end of the arbitration process to allow some form of normalcy to take place.”

The audio of Mr Furbert’s statement is below:

Update: Audio of the Q&A with Mr Furbert’s statement is below:

Early last month the BIU Port Workers Division instituted an overtime ban on the Hamilton docks, after the collapse of the current contact negotiations.

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Comments (18)

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  1. Terry says:

    Because it’s a Hullydey?

    Were doomed………

    Time to get on the Deliverance ann hed howt de cut………………………

  2. George says:

    Ohhh how nice of you Chris! How grateful we all should be that you are no longer holding the country to ransom!

    Just as an aside ……where do I sign up for the next BIU leadership nominations? I want a piece of that well paid ego pie!

  3. Onion says:

    Where are the BIU Financials from 2000 until present Mr. Furbert?

  4. Terry says:

    Why don’t you ask them Onion. Walk up to the Union as ask just what you did here. Does it matter to Front Street……………Bwhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  5. Jazzy says:

    if the “men” were interested in the interests of the country they would resign the Union immediately

  6. Kathy says:

    This is not rocket science. There is less work on the docks today than there has been in previous years and rightly so, the employer, Stevedoring Services wants to cut back the amount of labour it has to pay for. If there are less imports coming in they are making less money.

    I strongy support firing the whole lot and start from scratch (train up the people who want to work – there are plenty of Bermudians looking for good jobs) and get back to the old days of respecting the employer and the right to employment.

    Do we Bermudians ever stop to be thankful for our work. No, we just complain, complain, complain. We should be grateful we have some work. Where did we get the notion that we command the workforce – we tell our employer we work overtime and you pay us or else we hold you hostage and the country hostage to our strikes! Bermudians better wake up and join the rest of the world in the cutbacks!

    • It is what it is says:

      @ Kathy if you had the WHOLE story I could understand your point…but obviously judging from your comment you do not have ALL the details that would fully support your judgemental view of things…you never know what goes on behind the scenes…and while it may not be rocket science concerning the work on the docks it’s actually a lot more detail to the story than has been presented…..I didn’t fully understand it myself until my better half, who has been a dedicated dock worker for the past 16 years, who goes in at a moments notice, and who fills in even when he is not scheduled (such as tonight) explained it to me…I wouldn’t work under those conditions either….It’s not as cut and dry as you have been made to believe!!!!!!

    • A.S. says:

      @ Kathy

      While I don’t always support everything the Union does, and think they do go too far sometimes, I disagree with parts of your comment. In particular, where you say: ‘get back to the old days of respecting the employer…’

      This has NOTHING to do with respecting or disrespecting the employer! There are times when workers need to stand up to employers who would otherwise take advantage of them. Thank God for the Unions. My mother talks about the days when one wasn’t paid if you called in sick-fair enough in those days. However, my mom-who worked as a chambermaid-would have to do her work IN ADDITION to her sick co-worker’s work. Instead of knocking off at say, 3, she’d have to knock off at 7 or whenever she finished doing TWO people’s work. Oh, and guess what? Her co-worker wouldn’t get paid but my mom wouldn’t get paid anything additional for all the extra work done and extra hours put in. Sometimes, she’d even LOSE if she had to find someone to take care of my older siblings while she worked this unpaid overtime. If you complained, YOU WERE OUT THE DOOR!!!

      So, I support the Unions even though they do go overboard at times. I’ve worked places that weren’t unionized and it’s amazing what these employers try and get away with-even in this day and age. If you speak up, they find ways to get back at you. When you’re unionized you have the right to have your shop steward in meetings and the Union can get a copy of letters sent to you and give you feedback and advice. The Unions do a lot for the workers and make employers think twice about abusing worker rights.

      Also, one last point, and this is not directed at Stevedoring Servs: I’m getting pretty sick of companies that are doing good and making the same or bigger profits than they did years ago using this recession as an excuse not to give workers raises and the like, under the pretense of ‘belt-tightening.’ Unless these are publicly traded companies, the employee have no idea of how much the company is making and the employers know this. Yet they use this recession as an excuse not to give raises (even cost of living) for a few years in a row. These employers know who they are and its sickening.

      • Rockfish#1 says:

        @ A.S.
        For the most part I agree with your comments. However,the workers have often been kept in the dark regarding the employers finances. By the same token, unions often do the same thing!

        • BIU financials anyone says:

          The employer’s finances are not the point here. The question is simply whether or not there is enough work to keep the existing workers busy. If so great, if not, the employer should be cutting back on staff. There are only two choices. Layoffs or put everyone on reduced hours.

        • sandgrownan says:

          Apart from being of no relevance, they are a matter of public record. Go look them up. Unlike the BIU they publish audited financials.

      • exodus says:

        Boy kathy those are some strong words,i am sure you don’t mean firing the whole lot.you got to realize that if there is less work on the shop floor then there is less work in administration,come on kathy lets be fair and reasonable.don’t you think layoffs should then be across the board? Before you answer that let me tell you that two years ago the shop floor at the dock decided to give up a day,so did the administration staff,guess what happened a mouth latter,administration went back to five days,the shop floor is still on four day,still making a sacrifice.Search your heart kathy and ask yourself why you would make such a comment with so little infomation

        • it is what it is says:

          I concur…that is exactly what happened……Again the “little man” being made to take the brunt of things..they’re doing the same thing as the present government..expecting the “little man” to brace themselves, take the pay cut, wage freeze, reduced hours and the like while they still live high on the hog…leading by example is what they should be doing than they will have the respect of the public…..Just because there is a recession and we are facing hard times does not mean that we should allow ourselves to be used, exploited or having to sell our souls to the devil to make ends meet. A lot of employers are milking this recession for all it’s worth……

  7. Triangle Drifter says:

    Oh please don’t do us any favours. Never happen anyway. Bet the first question was “How much you paying us?” Double time at least. Who would not work for that? Bet those hours get stretched to the max. Don’t want to work too hard on Labour Day you know.

    • I miss my overtime pay!!! says:

      Yep, can’t miss that holiday pay can we?

  8. Jonknee barns says:

    Well done Chris. I will give credit here credit is due !

  9. Jonknee barns says:


  10. Say Say Say says:

    So nice of CF to put the coutry first. Perhaps he will remember this next time he calls a strike over a drunken ferry driver, or drugged up bus driver.

    On another subject, CF was on the radio the other day describing how the bus driver who called in sick to work his other job REALLY WAS sick. Chris explained several times how he had a ‘groan’ injury. Certainly gave me the laugh of the day.