BEC: Supports Suspends Permit Term Limits

December 21, 2012

The Bermuda Employers’ Council [BEC] has congratulated the OBA on winning the election, and said they support the new Government’s initiative to suspend Work Permit Term Limits.

A statement from BEC said: “On behalf of our 300 members representing all sectors of the economy, we congratulate the One Bermuda Alliance on becoming the new Government and we extend our collective hands to assist on growing employment in Bermuda.

“We support the new Government’s intention to form a Tripartite Economic Advisory Council. Involving the union and employer representatives to come to grips with our prolonged economic problems, declining real income while carving a road to recovery, can only benefit the Island.

Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy speaking last night about term limits:

“We support the new Government’s initiative to suspend Work Permit Term Limits. At considerable expense, the BEC, ABIC and BHA sought local and international legal advice shared with the previous Government, which stated that Bermuda’s laws are robust to protect Bermudian jobs and deal with long-term residency.

“Therefore, Bermudian interests will be protected and the Island can avoid the negative impact of the current Term Limit policy on our ability to compete internationally.

“We will be pleased to be part of the advisory and consultative process on employment matters with the new Ministers, as we worked well with the former Ministers, responsible for the economy, economic development, labour relations, work permit policies, training, education, human rights, safety/health and generally on other matters affecting employment.

“The BEC Board of Governors believes that Bermuda can rebuild business confidence, compete internationally and attract new investment with swift Government action on economic priorities that will in turn drive employment.

“We are willing to help the new Government re-establish credibility and professionalism in the eyes of the world as a leading and proactive international business centre. Building a future includes a foundation of positive labour relations, respect for the law and resolving disputes without turmoil in our fragile economy.”

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Comments (45)

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  1. Encyclopedia says:

    Congratulations!!
    Suspend term limits.

    • politics says:

      Congratulations on the high rent prices that are coming next and more inflation as well!!!

      • Friendly Faces says:

        Except the only people not congratulating the OBA are you and Chris Furbert. I’m with the other lot. At last we have some progress.

  2. Seriously says:

    “We are willing to help the new Government re-establish credibility and professionalism in the eyes of the world as a leading and proactive international business centre”

    Well EFF me, I never knew the #1 offshore re-insurance domicile needed to “re-establish” anything.

    But what do I know.

    • Sandgrownan says:

      Nothing evidently

    • swing voter says:

      where have you been for the last 8 years? Vacationing in Turks perhaps ;-) Two men and a bunch of ineffective cabinet ministers nearly detached us from the global economy through ill-conceived policies and nasty political rhetoric….go figure

      • argosy says:

        You are obviously seriously EFFed up!

        Cannot fathom the ignorance of some until you read their posts – WOW!

        • swing voter says:

          you’ve been sleeping since 2007 as well my friend ;-) go figure

    • ?? says:

      you’re clueless…

  3. Union Member says:

    Yes I think that is correct Seriously. Bermuda is a world leading and proactive international business centre. We have however not favored well due to the GLOBAL economic downturn. LEt’s remember why term limits were there in the first place. Understand the intention and create policies that ensure Bermudians will always have opportunities in their own country. Not just high flyer Bermudians, but the uneducated, uneployable ones as well!

    • swing voter says:

      @ Union Member, the ‘non business’ jobs were being overtaken by cheaper labor from Asia, and the carribean. A combination of things from greedy service industry owners, to an ill-conceived term limits policy was the cause of what we see now. While brother
      LudaChris spits fire at the OBA, UBP, and big business, why don’t you remind him that blue color workers suffered the consequences of an ineffective immigration department and minister asleep at the wheel.

      • SMURFS! says:

        “blue color workers”

        What? Now the OBA is letting Smurfs come in and steal our jobs?? Say it isn’t so! I did not see this coming.

    • Sandgrownan says:

      Term limits were designed to prevent residents gaining Bermuda status in the event of a vote for Independence. The unintended consequence was that they said to IB, we don’t need or want your people. How stupid Burch’s comments seem now.

  4. navin johnson says:

    ne’er the twain shall meet

  5. Watching On says:

    While they are at it I know some of us would appreciate if they look into PRC and Spouses status too.

    Won’t it be a tad bit unfair to do something for people who are only here albeit temporary but no changes for those who have been here for years and those who are married to Bermudians but still have to wait 10 years to get status? Just asking.

    • Things that make you go hmmmmm says:

      @ Watching On – I for one, had to wait 10 years to get my status after marrying a Bermudian – not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. By waiting ten yers, it can stop a lot of marriages of convenience, and remember it is not automatic you will have to apply, and your Bermudian spouse has to support the application. I know a lot people who would not support their spouse’s application and then when they did the newly Bermudian spouse promptly divoced them. Maybe if they get divorced within a certain time frame of being granted status it can be taken away.

      • Refuse Economic mercenaries a PRC says:

        Agree with your sentiments. Place stipulation in the legislation that if a PRC divorces their Bermudian spouse they lose their PRC.
        That will weed out some of the unscrupulous applicants who really son’t have Bermuda’s best interests at heart.

  6. Spilt milk says:

    Lol.. Bermuda for bermudians… Stay ten years on subsidized rent n become Bermudian then buy bda.. Sounds like the old Ubp to me… Good show.

    • Sandgrownan says:

      Protectionism has been a failure.

      • argosy says:

        Absolutely spot on!

        Why can’t Bermudians be encouraged to compete with foreigners for jobs? Do we think we cannot compete? That we have to impose artificial barriers to free-market, good old-fashioned competition?

        Work permit policies have simply told Bermudians that they are “protected” and do not need to compete. The results – Bermudians who cannot read & write, bad work ethics, bad time-keeping, poor performance, bad attitude etc…etc.

        BUT, they are still entitled to a job here because they are Bermudians. A failure indeed.

  7. Public says:

    Funny how they had all workpermit holders serving the food at the party. Even in the video we have one walking by with a tray.

    • Zombie Apocalypse says:

      Well if that’s true the permit would have ben granted by the PLP, wouldn’t it?

      • not even funny says:

        You really think that the OBA is going to help the average Bermudian. The only people that their going to help is big business. All my people will still be unemployed begging for jobs. We’ll be just like the Caymans soon.

      • Richard says:

        lol

  8. Vote for Me says:

    The suspension of term limits remains as one of the most risky OBA proposals. Thye propose to suspend them for 2 years while they investigate the impact!!

    Where else in life do you suspend the controls or guidelines whilst you investigate the impact? Just imagine an announcement that a new drug is being used for the first time without guidelines for 2 years whilst they investigate the impact? That would be absurd.

    It seems it would be more practical for the OBA to urgently review the matter and then decide how to change the rules or guidelines. If the suspension leads to a serious erosion of Bermudian opportunities or results in more persons allowed to reside in Bermuda for the longer term or ultimately acquire voting status we would be in the ‘law of unintended consequences’.

    • Zombie Apocalypse says:

      The ‘unintended consequences’ of term limits have been playing out for the past 6 years. Hopefully this comes in time to reverse the harm done to the country.

    • swing voter says:

      A simple solution. Term limits need to be applied only to specific job catagories. The blanket approach obviously benefited no one. The CEO and Senior management jobs relocated to other IB friendly juristictions. The poor Bermudian employees that supported them where given packages and a handshake…..meanwhile, we see blue color expats driving delivery vans, landscaping, working in the hotels and on the construction sites? What kind of Union supports this nonsense. Certainly not Ottie and Molly’s Union! There was a time when I could find a ‘hustle’ but nowdays, somebody is flown in from the far side of the earth, and works a 18hr day for pennies.

      • Just so you know.... says:

        The phrase is actually “blue collar” and refers to people who work in manual labor. It originates from a time when manual workers wore denim shirts, hence the blue collar. White collar workers are those with office jobs, and pink collar are ‘service workers’, who work with customers, in sales, entertainment and more.

    • Sandgrownan says:

      It may be risky politically but it’s the right thing to do.

      The permit process always had enough checks and balances to ensure that Bermudians were not disadvantaged. The term limit nonsense basically said to IB “we will determine who you hire and when”, which is frankly idiotic. “We know better than you.”

      The impact of Burch’s hystrionics and contempt are felt everyday. And the stories are real.

      Kill term limits dead now.

  9. Mr. Change says:

    Opening the floodgates to permanent residency will only lead to an increased and unsustainable demand for services in the years to come, let alone the further marginalization of Bermudian workers and possibly closing the door on the housing market once and for all to the average Bermudian. For a country of our size you cannot deny that controls are necessary to prevent this!!!

    Ps and if you really think that this will last for 2 years only, examine Ubp policies of the past!!! Some will inevitably say that bermuda prospered during that period but in reality only certain segments of the population did!!!!! We obviously know that the plp were very far from perfect but until the global meltdown in 2008 you cannot deny that for the first time there was somewhat of a balance struck between promoting and pleasing the IB sector while protecting the rights and futures of the Average Bermudian worker!!

    • doomed says:

      thank you! does no one else see this?

      How is this going to help average bermudians? There are what 4000 people unemployed right now, and yet IB has had how many work permits renewed or granted in the last year? It would seem the issue isn’t lack of jobs for people, but lack of qualified people for the jobs. Letting expats stay here for ever is going to help bermudians how? Am I missing something?

      • Sandgrownan says:

        Look, it’s all very well supporting the party of supposed social responsibility, but it’s all got to be paid for somehow. There is no liquidity in the economy, no wealth being generated at any level and no influx of foreign currency.

        Like it or not, some rules will need to be relaxed and relaxed quickly to kick start the economy. Otherwise, we are f$&ked.

    • So Tired says:

      Bermudians are already disadvantaged in the IB sector and eliminating term limits altogether will ultimately squeeze them out completely, save the few tokens. Instead of the BEC screaming the same monotone line, get your hands dirty and investigate what is really going on in IB. You’ll shut your mouth after that.

      • Rd says:

        Bermudians squeeze themselves out of IB. They are often not equiped mentally in acumen for these roles.

  10. I don’t think that non Bermudian spouses leaving their partners after ten years with Bermudian status is a all that important in the grand scheme of things-more important is Bermudian men marrying the mother of their children and educating and supporting them.

  11. argosy says:

    “……there was somewhat of a balance struck between promoting and pleasing the IB sector while protecting the rights and futures of the Average Bermudian worker.”

    And the current unemployment stats and depressed economy (we have not seeen those mid-term numbers yet) are what you would call “somewhat of a balance”??

    Sorry, I cannot follow you…..doesn’t make any sense at all.

  12. LaVerne Furbert says:

    As a result of term limits (extended work permits by the UBP) Michael Fahy is now a senator and a Government minister.

    Further, who is surpised that the BEC is supportive of the OBA. They help to make up the OBA’s membership.

  13. M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

    Singapore and Dubai have the right idea on term limits and drug dealers. Shawn Crockwell would’ve had a longer neck .

  14. Just think about it says:

    I support this plan! Give the OBA a chance to change Bermuda for the better! They JUST won the election! IB will bring in more jobs for those Bermudians that were let go during the time international business was pulling away from Bermuda BECAUSE of the PLP. The former government pretty much told IB that we don’t need you but the fact of the matter is that we do, we cannot rely on tourism! They bring in the business so Bermudians who are QUALIFIED for the job can get those jobs AND they are given the jobs! I know a lot of Bermudians who work or have worked for IB.
    I wish Bermudians would just take a miniute to reflect of what has been happening for the last 14 years, it hasn’t been a good time for us at all and I’m hoping and praying that the OBA will gradually bring us through and get to a place were NO ONE is judged because of their skin colour, what matters is your character and what you positively contribute to the island. They are such a diverse group of people and they represent ALL Bermudians!

    Praying for a better Bermuda

  15. Anon Ymous says:

    IB is not here to create jobs for Bermudians, however, IB staff drive demand in the service industry which does create jobs for Bermudians. IB money is not generated in Bermuda but is funneled into our economy by way of payroll tax, rent, vehicles, fuel, groceries, clothing, etc., etc……essentially, money that was never in Bda, took nothing away from Bda or Bermudians but ends up in the economy of Bda. Why ask for more than them just being here and doing what they do?

  16. Just so you know.... says:

    While I realize that Bermudians should have the opportunity, I think that lifting the term limits would be good for the island. Tourism aside, Bermudas industry is in IB. The expats are the ones who bring money into our island, and spend it here. They are the ones who go to restaurants, do entertaining, bring family for visits: they put the money in our economy.

    Now we shun them, sending them away so we can protect Bermudians… But the reality is the Bermudians aren’t bringing in new money to our economy. Yes they should have the opportunity for a job, but they also must be qualified. Multiple companies on this island assist with the cost of getting a university education – take advantage of that! I’m sorry, if you feel ‘entitled’ to a job, but cannot be bothered to get educated, then you cannot be too ‘proud’ to work in the less glamorous jobs and complain about how expats steal your chances.

    If those expats want to stay for more than 20 years, give them permanent residency status – though likely many of them won’t be here for that long. They aren’t ‘stealing’ our jobs, they’re actually growing our economy and giving us the resources to create new jobs. Term limits are a huge F%*& you to IB, we shouldn’t ruin our only industry (tourism aside) because we are unwilling to change our mindset and think logically.

    • Just so you know.... says:

      Also: If you are Bermudian and qualified, they are legally required to give you the job over an expat. So stop complaining and get qualified.