Chamber Of Commerce Fires Joanne MacPhee

February 7, 2014

The Bermuda Chamber of Commerce has fired Joanne MacPhee following the incident that occurred during the BIU march on Hamilton. She previously served as the Executive Director, and has been terminated effective immediately.

Ms MacPhee described herself as “absolutely gutted by the Chamber Board’s vote of no confidence”, and extended her thanks to all the members who supported her efforts during her tenure, as well as to the BIU President and Board for accepting her apology.

Background [Link]

BIU members were marching through Hamilton on Wednesday to protest the labour dispute with the Fairmont Hamilton Princess, and Ms MacPhee, who was on vacation at the time, yelled at them from a balcony, saying they should go to work, and are lucky to have jobs.

Photo sent in by a Union member of Ms MacPhee on the balcony:


At a press conference held yesterday, BIU President Chris Furbert called for an apology saying, “When you have the Executive Director of the Bermuda Chamber of Congress, which is Ms. Joanne MacPhee shouting at our members to go back to work…and had I not told the workers at the front of the line that I saw something going on, I walked back – we could have had a mini riot…”

Mr. Furbert addressing the incident with Ms MacPhee

Ms MacPhee subsequently apologised for her actions, and also extended her thanks to Mr. Furbert for defusing the situation.

Late yesterday afternoon, President of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce Ronald Viera said that Ms MacPhee was suspended without pay, and they will “meet with the full executive board as soon as possible to discuss further action.”

Chamber Terminates Her Employment

In a statement issued today, Chamber President Ronald Viera said: “Following a meeting of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce Board, the decision was made to terminate Mrs. Joanne MacPhee as Executive Director effective immediately.

“Employee benefits such as health insurance and coverage in The Employee Assistance programme will be offered to Mrs. MacPhee for a period following her termination.

“The Bermuda Chamber of Commerce wishes to assure our membership that all of the Chamber’s programmes will continue as planned as we continue to support local business development initiatives.

“We will begin the search for a suitable replacement as soon as possible,” added Mr. Veira.

Joanne MacPhee’s Response To Termination

Speaking after the decision, Ms MacPhee said, “Not surprisingly I am absolutely gutted by the Chamber Board’s vote of no confidence, especially when you take into consideration my considerable contribution to the Chamber and the membership over the past two and a half years.

“There is just so much more to be done at the Chamber and I genuinely feel bad not being able to at the very least transition someone else into the position.

“My thanks go out to all the members who have supported my efforts during my tenure, and I wish them and the entire business community the very best during this time of critical recovery.

“On a personal note I would like to thank Mr. Chris Furbert and the Board of the BIU for accepting my apology and being so gracious in understanding that underneath the title I was nothing but human.

“I expressed to them my hope that something positive can come out of all this, and I look forward to finding a way to make that happen.”

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  1. Jus' Askin' says:

    BIU should offer her representation or a job ;-)
    Furbert for Premier ;-)

    • inna says:

      Hi Betty!

      • Bettty Trump says:

        Hi Inna,

        It is very unfortunate that the actions of Mrs. MacPhee has taken place. It is also unfortunate that the end resulted in her losing her job, something I do not wish on anyone. I was surprise to hear this action had been taken. But not surprise of her action. This is because we have failed to deal with this outstanding elephant in the room.

        But it does speak to the bitter divide in Bermuda. We are divided along the lines of RACE, ECONOMICS, EDUCATION and OPPORTUITIES FOR JOBS. This deep divide must be addressed for Bermuda to move forward. Many seem to be fearful or uncomfortable in addressing it.

        Many do not want to acknowledge the Elephant in the room. If one talk about RACE or WHITE PRIVILEDGE they are label in haste as been Racist. Talking about race or racism does not make one racist. It is an uncomfortable conversation that must be had in Bermuda by a certain sector of our society. This kind of thing will repeat itself, merely because we still have failed to deal with the real issues at hand here.

        Whenever I want to discuss RACE, ECOMONIC DISPARITY or WHITE PRIVILEGE” in Bermuda with my white friends they become extremely upset, and call me racist. Whenever I want to discuss RACE or white privilege with my Overseas friends, there is no problem at all. This speaks volumes of where we are in Bermuda.

        Bermuda we must address this outstanding Elephant in the room. It will not go away and it is too large to throw under the carpet. It will bark sooner, rather than later.

        Much love to all. “One love, one heart, lets get together and be alright”….Bob.M

        • Trees says:

          In bermuda we have white burden. This burden is in the form of the assumption of “white privilege”

          • Bettty Trump says:

            White Privilege is not an assumption. It is a heavy subject that requires much discourse.

            Peggy McIntosh nicely puts it….”I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege. So I have begun in an untutored way to ask what it is like to have white privilege. I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets which I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was ‘meant’ to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless backpack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks.”

            Tim Wise puts it like this “Racism is perceived as affecting only the “underprivileged” and not the dominant group. Yet for every act of racism against the “underprivileged,” there is an advantage given to the “overprivileged.”

            White privilege refers to any advantage, opportunity, benefit, head start, or general protection from negative societal mistreatment, which persons deemed white will typically enjoy, but which others will generally not enjoy. These benefits can be material (such as greater opportunity in the labor market, or greater net worth, due to a history in which whites had the ability to accumulate wealth to a greater extent than persons of color), social (such as presumptions of competence, creditworthiness, law-abidingness, intelligence, etc.) or psychological (such as not having to worry about triggering negative stereotypes, rarely having to feel out of place, not having to worry about racial profiling, etc.).

            • Frederick Douglass says:

              Betty, I really don’t know why you bother. Every. single. post. of. yours. is. the. same.

              Life is my dear, what you make it.

              White, black, yellow, pink, we all have our ups and our downs, and I suspect you moan and cry foul of most of it.

              As the Irish genius George Best once said, ‘you can tickle some people’s nuts with a golden feather and they would still complain’.

              • Robert says:

                What ?!!!! Lol that doesn’t apply here !!!

              • Mazumbo says:

                Where justice is denied,
                where poverty is enforced,
                where ignorance prevails,
                and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob or degrade them, neither persons or property will be safe.
                Fredrick Augustus Washington Baily (Feb.1818-Feb 20 1895)
                The real Frederick Douglass.

              • Mike Hind says:

                I have to disagree with you here… And agree with whoever’s hiding behind “Betty” today.
                White privilege is a real thing. I get that it’ shard to take, especially given the source, but for once, the “Betty”s aren’t using it as a racist political weapon! Shocking, I know!
                Read what she’s been given to post. It’s true stuff.

              • Consciouskali says:

                MR DOUGLASS I IMPLORE YOU TO LOOK AT THE SCIENCE BEHIND POVERTY AND PRIVILEGE: Perhaps then you will have the opportunity to experience compassion and understanding for Ms. Trump’s perspective. The current societal dynamic has been molded on a genetic level from human behaviour throughout history. The evidence is compelling and certainly warrants further attention.
                For example depression, stress response, autoimmunity and heart disease risk is all higher in people with oppressed and impoverished ancestors. The scientific discipline is called epigenetics. If you do you will understand how your comment, “we all have our ups and downs” could be construed as an ignorant and insensitive oversimplification in this particular context.

            • trees says:

              Betty black privilege is alive and well in bermuda. I’ve experienced it first hand and seen it many a time.

            • Real deal says:

              Men is suits have privilege too. I find that when I have my suit on I get more respect from the police. They address me as sir and talk in a more respectible manner.

              • Mike Hind says:

                This is true. And is part if it.

                Think about it. What if you could never put on a suit (to extend your post into a metaphor).

            • Consciouskali says:

              Thank you for your brave words and your authenticity. You articulated my experience and thoughts on Bermuda’s past and current skewed power distribution so poignantly. I agree that we do need to get to the conversation FIRST- in order to have a solution-based conversation. I see Bermuda’s socioeconomic dynamic as a metaphor of our history stuck on replay because we avoid sorting out the mess. You seem like a very strong person. The damaging aspects of our history are very uncomfortable places to visit in conversation for many people. It is extremely heavy and not everyone is equipped either psychologically or physiologically to truly revisit this conversation with enough clarity to handle looking at it deeply, truthfully and responsibly in order to clearly see a solution. We often get clouded by emotional bias and/or intense shame when we go there. The skill-set to handle this is just not taught in our society. We are however taught how to avoid.
              I have true compassion at a deep level for the ancestors of the humans who owned other humans and watched them and their children be caged, raped and tortured for HUNDREDS of years. HUNDREDS. Wow. That happened. They did that. Now we are ALL left with a huge inhumane mess of a society. It blows my mind when I look at it from a spiritual perspective. Like going through layers of consciousness, I get so angry at one layer and then so incredibly compassionate when I put myself in the spiritual shoes of the ancestors of slave owners. This made me realize that no one has “gotten away” with anything. They currently carry THAT KARMA (in my belief system the ancestors inherit karma). Revisiting their ancestors’ role in our history from this perspective would require incredible strength, wisdom and consciousness. These qualities are not as encouraged as a priority in our society so it is a generally avoided topic. I have a theory that most items consumed are devices that help medicate us to “not go there” (e.g., alcohol, tv, video games, sugar, excess sex, etc) I, an ancestor of owned and shattered humans, revisit the history on a daily basis as the record repeats as a metaphoric echo of slavery times in present society. Material possessions, drugs, media and other modern distractions do not and will not put the pieces back together. Compassion may however be a key component. Being in a state of compassion helps me have mature and coherent conversations human to human with anyone who chooses to visit this place with me with the intent for a viable solution. Then the probability of these conversations increase. I am holding space for “viral”, revolutionary proportions of authentic conversations of this nature. Then a shift will occur. I am optimistic and encourage you to not give up or leave. Choice is important too (hence the caveat at the beginning). I learned this because I used to have a bad and counter-productive habit of inadvertently ambushing people with this topic. Now I believe that we need to choose to grow and evolve into a more viable future for all. Without choice it’s just the initiation of another slavery metaphor. Goddess bless you.

              “Wisdom, compassion and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of man” – Confucius

          • Infidelguy says:

            White Burden = White Privilege?


            You are what I would call an Oxymoron, with emphasis the Moron part.

          • Thatkidatoxford says:

            Trees, do you really believe that white privilege is assumed to exist? Centuries of physical, mental, and economic slavery, mass media indoctrination of both self hatred for people of colour and white superiority, and various forms of oppression have all benefited white people. It then follows, with this as our history, that white people would have some sort of privilege. I say all of this to say that I don’t think white privilege is an assumption. I think it is a fact.

            I think one burden we have in Bermuda is a disconnect between our past and the present. I think we should teach Bermudian history. I am stunned by the fact that we don’t. I think we need to know our history so that we can have conversations about race and equality with relevant information and so that we retain some of our heritage and culture. We are raising kids who know more about wars in countries they have never visited than they do about the country they were born in. I think this is wrong.

        • BlueFamiliar says:

          Well, Ms Trump, may I suggest that perhaps you want to get yourself some different ‘white friends’ or, perhaps, change the way you approach the subject which may be a good portion of the reason your ‘white friends’ get upset.

          Now, I’m not going to deny that white privilege exists. It does, up to a point. But in the same vein as I went on about following another article, I’ve come to believe that the bigger problem is the perception of white privilege.

          I will happily admit that I took a great deal of offense to the use of the term ‘white privilege’ in the past, and it was purely because of my lack of understanding of what was meant by the term.

          It wasn’t that I avoided understanding, it was simply that too many people had been using it as a club rather than simply discuss the perception. So I was grateful to encounter someone who was able to express themselves quite eloquently on the matter, without being judgmental to those of us ‘accused’ of having ‘white privilege.

          In the end, I have a better grasp of how people who use the term feel and what they perceive, even though I believe that this is another case where what they perceive may not at all be the reality, particularly in Bermuda. It doesn’t change what they are feeling, so please understand that I acknowledge and respect their pain.

          But if we, as Bermudians, are ever going to narrow the divide, those on both sides need to be willing to listen as well as express.

          While I am grateful to the person who was eloquent enough to open my eyes to their perspective, I am regretful that I was not given the feeling that they were willing to listen to how their perception might be inaccurate.

          White priviledge

        • Joan Cabral says:

          I really do not believe that Mrs. Macphee’s comments were based on a position of “white privilege”. Rather, I believe her comments came from a position of working hard to try and improve our situation here, and feeling frustrated as all that work goes appears to go down the tubes, in one day,
          when there is a lack of understanding between the Fairmont management and the Union. We are all guilty of having emotional outbursts, most inappropriately. But we need to look at the motivation behind the behaviour. This is more complicated than it appears. So, please don’t attribute the behaviour to “white privilege”. There is more to it than this carte blanche label

          • Betty Trump says:

            That is because your not able to recognize it. The choice of words are often embedded with in the dialogue, and your still not able to recognize it. But instead you will fall into White Denial.

            • Mike Hind says:

              And there it is. The political, racist weapon.


            • trees says:

              Betty you unfortunately suffer from the inability to recognise “black privilege”. If Mrs. Macphee did have “white privilege” she would still be working. Mr. Donal Smith made comments against Gays and never lost his position. What sort of privilege was he provided that Mrs. Macphee wasn’t? You suffer from serious denial.

          • LongBayTradingCo................. says:

            Why Oh Why does everything in Bermuda get reduced to race? I absolutely deplore what has happened to Mrs. McPhee as it clearly shows all that is wrong in Bermuda. While her actions may have been deemed “inappropriate” given her public profile by job association, she still has a right to her opinion and to express that opinion, no matter the forum. I have no idea of what she said, from what I gather it was akin to expressing her displeasure at the ILLEGAL ACTIONS of the BIU. She merely may have expressed what many of us were thinking and feeling. When so many are doing so much to try and put Bermuda back on a stable footing, to watch and see it all destroyed so mindlessly is totally dispairing. Especially when there were so many LEGAL options available and not taken.
            Shame on the BIU for yet again bringing shame on Bermuda.
            Shame on the Chamber for throwing the baby out with the very dirty bathwater.
            Shame on the OBA for not fighting for the SIXTY THOUSAND right thinking Bermudians and sending the BIU/PLP bullies to their corner to assess the damage they have and continue to causing Bermuda.

        • Mike Hind says:

          You’re right. Talking about race and white privilege doesn’t make you a racist.

          Being a racist, however, DOES make you a racist.

        • Consciouskali says:

          Thank you for your brave words and your authenticity. You articulated my experience and thoughts on Bermuda’s past and current skewed power distribution so poignantly. I agree that we do need to get to the conversation FIRST- in order to have a solution-based conversation. I see Bermuda’s socioeconomic dynamic as a metaphor of our history stuck on replay because we avoid sorting out the mess. You seem like a very strong person. The damaging aspects of our history are very uncomfortable places to visit in conversation for many people. It is extremely heavy and not everyone is equipped either psychologically or physiologically to truly revisit this conversation with enough clarity to handle looking at it deeply, truthfully and responsibly in order to clearly see a solution. We often get clouded by emotional bias and/or intense shame when we go there. The skill-set to handle this is just not taught in our society. We are however taught how to avoid.
          I have true compassion at a deep level for the ancestors of the humans who owned other humans and watched them and their children be caged, raped and tortured for HUNDREDS of years. HUNDREDS. Wow. That happened. They did that. Now we are ALL left with a huge inhumane mess of a society. It blows my mind when I look at it from a spiritual perspective. Like going through layers of consciousness, I get so angry at one layer and then so incredibly compassionate when I put myself in the spiritual shoes of the ancestors of slave owners. This made me realize that no one has “gotten away” with anything. They currently carry THAT KARMA (in my belief system the ancestors inherit karma). Revisiting their ancestors’ role in our history from this perspective would require incredible strength, wisdom and consciousness. These qualities are not as encouraged as a priority in our society so it is a generally avoided topic. I have a theory that most items consumed are devices that help medicate us to “not go there” (e.g., alcohol, tv, video games, sugar, excess sex, etc) I, an ancestor of owned and shattered humans, revisit the history on a daily basis as the record repeats as a metaphoric echo of slavery times in present society. Material possessions, drugs, media and other modern distractions do not and will not put the pieces back together. Compassion may however be a key component. Being in a state of compassion helps me have mature and coherent conversations human to human with anyone who chooses to visit this place with me with the intent for a viable solution. Then the probability of these conversations increase. I am holding space for “viral”, revolutionary proportions of authentic conversations of this nature. Then a shift will occur. I am optimistic and encourage you to not give up or leave. Choice is important too (hence the caveat at the beginning). I learned this because I used to have a bad and counter-productive habit of inadvertently ambushing people with this topic. Now I believe that we need to choose to grow and evolve into a more viable future for all. Without choice it’s just the initiation of another slavery metaphor. Goddess bless you.

          “Wisdom, compassion and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of man” – Confucius

    • Come Correct says:

      Oh please no. When you put it like that he’s fine where he is. His only reaction is an over-reaction.

    • Mazumbo says:

      Its kinda tacky taking pop shots at her now,
      Its like kicking someone when there on the ground.

      • Come Correct says:

        You have a moral compass?!

        • Frederick Douglass says:

          Mazumbo, how dare you. Like Chris Furball, how on earth did you lot end up on the higher moral ground here?

          Ronnie Viera. You coward.

          • Mazumbo says:

            The warrior fights with courage not with anger.
            Yoruba proverb

            • Mike Hind says:

              So that makes you… What?
              Certainly not a warrior. There’s no courage in you.

          • Leo says:

            Maybe they wanted to get rid of her anyway and this was a nice, convenient gift dropped right into their laps…they sure wasted no time in deciding to let her go-I’ll bet my whole $11 life’s savings that they weren’t happy with her before this.

            • Joan Cabral says:

              How would you know? Are you a member of the Chamber of Commerce? I have been for 2 years. And I can speak highly of Joanne Macphee’s endeavours. She was let go because of her inappropriate behaviour, especially for a person in her position.

          • Robert says:

            Who is “you lot” Freddy ?!!!

            • letmypeoplego says:

              Robert, isn’t “you lot” a Bermudian term??? The race thing will never end because we dont want it to!!! Lets stop being puppets for the powers that be personal games..!

        • Mazumbo says:

          When your neighbor’s horse falls into a pit, you should not rejoice at it, for your own child might fall into it too.
          Swahili Proverb

  2. Ess Ess Dee says:

    Well there is a God! This was the right thing to do!

  3. C says:

    They had no choice but to fire her. Can u imagine if they didnt

  4. O'Brien says:

    This is sad, but she has only herself to blame.

    Anyone with any sense would know better than to yell at a bunch of unionised workers to ‘go back to work’ form the porch of a Front Street restaurant. The fact that this did not occur to her revealed an incredible lack of judgment on her part, which made her position untenable.

    • Anbu says:

      We pay them. Ie the tax payers and they waste our money by doin this dumb ish! Ok for once this action was warrented, although they still took action without 21 days notice as usual. As a tax payer we have every right to tell them to get back to work. We pay them!

  5. Triangle Drifter says:

    Cowards! Absolute cowards. Whatever happened to freedom of speech? Had she been representing the CoC would be one thing but she was not. She was excercising her right as a private citizen.

    The CoC has left itself wide open to legal action for unfair dismissal.

    The BIU must be rubbing its hands with glee for the uproar it has managed to turn this into.

    • O'Brien says:

      Freedom of speech is not the same thing as freedom from the consequences of free speech. What she did was incredibly stupid and insensitive. She brought the Chamber into disrepute – they really had no choice but to sack her.

      • Crazy Week says:

        Thanks for the distinction, freedom of speech applies to freedom from criminal prosecution, not freedom from consequences.

        Chamber was right in this decision. Sad as it is, someone in such a position should not have done what she did.

        • sage says:

          Not at all, the freedom to say something doesn’t exempt one from criminal prosecution in the case of threats of violence, murder etc..

          • Sandy Bottom says:

            That’s true. Freedom of expression is meant to protect your right to state your opinions. Which is what she did.

            • Mike Hind says:

              And that right hasn’t been taken away. She still has the freedom to express her opinion.

              She just doesn’t have the right to express it without consequences. None of us do.
              No one is promised that.

    • Mazumbo says:

      As a matter of fact it is recorded that B.I.U. President Chris Furbert stated that he did not wish for her to be fired and he excepted her apology.

      • Luis Suarez says:

        …knowing she would be, hence he becomes the good guy.

        When we all know he is far from it.

        • Mazumbo says:

          A big heart is better than a big brain.
          Swahili Proverb

          • Mike Hind says:

            And both is better than either.

            Sadly, you have neither.

            • Mazumbo says:

              A wise man is superior to any insults which can be put upon him, and the best reply to unseemly behavior is patience and moderation

              • Mike Hind says:

                You keep acting like I’m insulting you.

                Pointing out facts, based on your own behaviour, isn’t insulting you.

                Your own “unseemly behaviour” – your complete reliance on fabrications and lies and racist attacks, as well as your cowardice in doing all that while hiding behind a fake name – has proved, time and again, that you aren’t terribly smart, and the amount of hate you have inside yourself shows that your heart is a shriveled mess.

                Thanks for admitting that you think you are superior. It is the first step to helping the problem.

    • moms says:

      drift away triangle–this is a message that no one is irreplaceable and that certain people need to keep their thoughts behind their lips, especially in these times.. melinated people have always been peaceable and it is a shame when others try to undermine attempts to do things in a orderly fashion… good going chamber!

    • HEY DIS BIE HERE says:

      You are a first class idiot,

    • Get it done says:

      Triangle Drifter there’s no way you can blame the BIU for this woman’s err in judgement. Just because we may have a perceived freedom of speech doesn’t mean responsibility isn’t attached to it.

      Ask yourself this, do you think she was the only person that day who disagreed with the marchers? Of course the answer is no, but she was the only one foolish enough to antagonise them.

      Like others who disagreed with their methods, all she had to do was let them march peacefully and discuss her feelings once they’ve gone by.

    • swing voter says:

      no TD you can’t defend her actions. To much is given, much more is expected…heck man she looked and acted like Chris Furbert! Total embarrassment to CoC and their members….if anything, its very likely she will probably be employed within 10 days by a CoC member business. I can’t say the same if I acted the same way.

      • swing voter says:

        ooops that should be “to whom much is given, much is expected”

      • LaVerne Furbert says:

        Swing voter, what do you mean “she looked and acted like Chris Furbert”? I’ve never seen Chris Furbert shout down to a crowd of people from a restaurant balcony. She was trying to be anonymous, just like you and the other posters here. Fortunately someone was able to identify her and let Mr. Furbert know who she was.

        • Luis Suarez says:

          I know exactly what Swing Voter means. I bet he even orders a coffee aggressively.

        • swing voter says:

          bull in a china shop mentality. HP’s stupidity and Furberts reaction to being ‘insulted’ led to 2 days of unnecessary labor strife. McPhee’s outburst was the icing on the cake…all 3 entities are equally responsible for harming economic recovery…call a spade a spade LaVerne

        • Annie says:

          ” Fortunately someone was able to identify her and let Mr. Furbert know who she was…”

          YUP! Thank goodness for modern technology so we had proof…no chance to say it was a case of ‘mistaken identity’.

          I don’t like the idea f anyone losing their job but I don’t feel one grain of sympathy for her. Someone up there is teaching her a mighty big lesson and taught it good and fast, too…as the saying goes “God don’t like ugly!’

        • Human Wrong says:

          Okay…maybe I am missing something here. My understanding is that she said…”go back to work, you are lucky to have a job”! I may be wrong, but if that is true…what is wrong with that. Most of us are LUCKY TO HAVE A JOB. She is fired and many rejoice!

          HOWEVER, Donal Smith can spew words of hate regarding gays and all is well within the community??? I am confused, especially when you consider that he is connected to the PLP and many of those that he supports within his own party are gay! I don’t get it…HATE is HATE and should be stopped!!!!

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        Yes, she did act like Chris Furbert & yes, given her position at the CoC, she did embarass that organisation.

        The difference of course is that no better behavior is expected of Chris Furbert & there is no consequence in the BIU for offensive behavior.

        Different rules for different people. Who would have thought?

        • judgment says:

          Why would you be so sure about that? Agressively, him that sounds like code language for your view of certain people who are strong and unapologetic!

      • Robert says:

        In what way has she acted like Bro. Chris Furbert ?!!

        • swing voter says:

          bull in a china shop mentality. Both HP and Furberts reaction to being ‘insulted’ led to 2 days of unnecessary labor strife

        • Human Wrong says:

          She said something stupid and offensive..that is how.

    • YADON says:

      @Triangle- I posted this before but I think you need to read it;

      You are always representing your company on or off the job. This concept is something most professionals grasp early on in their careers. Especially true for high profile positions such as Executive Director of the COC.

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        Yes, I know. You are correct. The higher you are on the totem pole the more you are accountable for your actions, on or off the company clock. Had she been an unknown or, heaven forbid, black, no fuss would have been made of the outburst. Who cares what a nobody thinks? Some colourful language would be hurled back & that would be it.

        Sad. The CoC loses a very smart & energetic employee.

    • Next says:

      Oh shut your piehole. This isn’t your beloved United States. Had this been the premier you’d want his head on a platter.

    • Frodo says:

      She acted in an undignified manner-look at her! Don’t you see the irony in this? If she was unionized the Union would stick up for her if she felt she was unfairly dismissed…she’s in the same position as those workers who were let go. She must be feeling mighty disgruntled right now just as they were feeling, only thing is she has no-one to fight for her so she just has to accept it. I’ll bet she feels like getting Bro. Chris to help her out right now. I’ll bet she never envisioned herself in this position. Talk about karma. Lesson learned!

    • Serious Though says:

      Freedom of speech should not be replaced with hateful speech

      • Ohpuleez says:

        Nothing she said was’hateful’. Your silly statement is what incites hate – or worse still, ignorant anger.

        • sage says:

          Oh no, of course not, it was her deep and abiding love for the working people and their cause that inspired her to sacrifice her lunch and aperitif in order to cast her pearls of wisdom amongst those on who’s behalf she toils so hard.

      • Real deal says:

        You peasants should go back to work and be lucky you have a job.
        Murfree releases the hounds!! That’ll teach em

    • Justice says:

      Triangle Drifter freedom of speech is always an option, but there are consequences if it offends others.

  6. swing voter says:

    Well, precedence has been set and will be enforced….all of us better watch your backs.

  7. Ess Ess Dee says:

    Hopefully next time she tastes her words before she spits them out!!!!

    Any bets on whether or not she wishes she was unionized now????

    • Anbu says:

      Doesnt matter whether or not she is or wishes she was unionized. U honestly think the union would represent her? Hahaha where have u been living all these years. Lmao

      • Annie says:

        The Union would represent ANYONE who requested it-black, white, brown, purple or green. Do you think the BIU only represents black people? Do you think there are NO white BIU members? If you think that, then you are an idiot.

        My husband is white and a proud union member for many, many years!

  8. J says:

    Is she unionized?? LOL

  9. It's ok... says:

    The chamber did the right thing and I know it was a very difficult decision to make.

  10. Toodle-oo says:

    If this is based solely on her performance on the porch it’s a total overreaction .
    The chamber has played into the threats and phony outrage just as it is hoped the OBA will in the future .

    Grow some thicker skin Chamber , you’re going to need it in the future.

    And if anyone really wants an example of what would have been an offensive outburst that she should have lost her job over , I’ll be happy to give it .
    Just don’t expect Bernews to post it .

    • moms says:

      she apologized which is an admittance,.. so obviously it was enough to warrant her own self feeling guilty and remorseful..its easy to hurl insults rather than to really consider another persons feelings, but I don’t expect for you to know that, which is why you offer your limited vocabulary as an example of vitriol

      • Anbu says:

        Hold on a min. U talk about taking someones feelings into account. How many times has furby hurled insults at people that are unwarranted?! Pay attention. Talk about hypocrisy. I guess its ok tho as long as u represent or support one particular party.

    • Get it done says:

      Overreaction? Let’s use a hypothetical, say the protesters who are marching for someone’s livelihood, would’ve went to confront the lady. Not only was her life in potential danger, but she put fellow patrons, restaurant staff, the demonstrators as well as the police officers who would’ve been called in to sort the situation out.

      I personally didn’t want her fired but I imagine the Chamber agonisingly made this decision, but drawing out the possibilities of what could’ve transpired, they must’ve felt they had no other choice.

    • Dreamcatcher says:

      And if there had been a riot or large upset…….. you would still have this opinion? I commend the marchers for not hurling a bottle or otherwise at her over-compensated butt. How dare she infer people are lucky to have jobs. A picture says a million words all right.

      Those lucky to have jobs people or otherwise sure were smart enough to capture this picture. Imagine that. May others grasp a lesson in this whole matter.

      And may the un-unionized persons not reinstated by HP realize the importance of a Union.

      • Anbu says:

        Ya to hold an entire country hostage whenever they get upset. Bunch of friggin todlers.

    • Frodo says:

      That isn’t the way someone in her position should act. She embarrassed the Chamber so they were right to let her go. I don’t feel sorry for her at all.

  11. so unfortunate says:

    oh well she cooked her own goose. So unfortunate.

  12. Ess Ess Dee says:

    Now Chris let’s go after Buzz!!!!! There are way too many Bermudians who can work there. The foreigners at the cash registers need to go! Let’s get things right in Bermuda ! Bermuda for Bermudians 1st!

    • Jon says:

      I see where you’re coming from, but this seems a touch xenophobic.

      Buzz has invested in Bermuda (perhaps more than you or I), and would have followed due process when hiring.

      See if they have any openings. Maybe they’ll hire you. Or maybe you won’t meet the requirements and they’ll hire someone else. Maybe they’ll be foreign. So what?

      • frank says:

        buzz has way too many foreiners and they know it I don’t shop a buzz you should do the same

        • Jon says:

          I don’t but only because I find it kinda expensive :)
          I just don’t think it’s fair to attack a business that has risked a great deal just because there is a perceived lack of Bermudian representation at front of house.
          Further, when I have gone to Buzz, the filipinos there are some of the nicest people I’ve encountered.

      • Ess Ess Dee says:

        Jon FYI. I am speaking of Buzz for my fellow Bermudians who might need work. You know the ones who should not have to be unemployed because They are Bermudians! It’s not so what! You clearly can’t relate because you are either white or expat! Get a clue before u spit out n e more stupidity!

    • buzz says:

      buzz next ????

  13. Johnboy says:

    I suppose there will be a march to get HER job back now…..

  14. Come Correct says:

    Ouch, not quite sure it deserved termination, suspension was bad enough, lesson learned I hope. Hope you saved for that rainy day if not now you get to feel the pain like the rest of us, you’ll be lucky if you’re unemployed for only a year in these times. How’s that humble pie taste?

  15. buzz says:

    It was very irresponsible for her to have done
    what see did. I know see wishes she could take
    it all back, but its too late, think b4 you drink

    • Sandy Bottom says:

      Unfortunately this translates to “do not express your views in Bermuda. If someone disagrees with you, you will be fired”.

    • paul says:

      It is people like macphee, that is causing the races to be so devided,thank God she has been fired…..and now she runs to Chris Furbert to appologise !!!!!! what a looser.

      • Anbu says:

        Actually paul its loser not looser. Cmon man. If you are going to insult someone, lets not spell like a 5 year old. We all know why you are happy she was fired. Its blatantly obvious from some of your previous posts. Get a life L-O-S-E-R

        • Annie says:

          Uh, and this is coming from a person who a few posts back called people ‘todlers’ instead of ‘toddlers’. It sounds like you need to take your own advice, Anbu!

  16. my Cousin says:

    The Chamber did the right thing. This is not a feather in the caps of the BIU but a statement for right. This lady spewed venom as the ED of COC. the Chamber collects vendors fees from some of those very same people who have vending stalls during Harbor nights. She works with th Corperation of Hamilton (many of their workers where in the march) She offended a number Chamber members who have blue collar family members who were marching. The Chamber got this one right. The PR fall out if they did not would have been too great. I We know that this was not an easy choice but one that showed the country’s commitment to doing the right thing. well done to the leadership of the COC you have been a shining example to Government and other organizations on how to make a tough choice under difficult circumstances. Moral leadership. You have established precident in Bermuda Today other companies and organizations have a road map moral choices. As I learned in School, your rights stop where my nose begins”

  17. tottie up says:

    maybe now, she will get help with her real problem!!!!

  18. Bdaluv says:

    This is INSANE! she is terminated over ONE statement while she was on vacation. She made the statement on her personal time and I do NOT think anyone should be terminated because of this. Suspended yes, but not terminated.

    • Get it done says:

      You question how someone can one be fired while they’re on vacation, but you can see why they could be suspended while on vacation?

    • YADON says:

      You are always representing your company on or off the job. This concept is something most professionals grasp early on in their careers. Especially true for high profile positions such as Executive Director of the COC.

    • lisa says:

      So if a police officer made a public statement while off duty that was offensive should they keep their job?.

  19. Sorrynotsorry says:

    She should be a nanny.

  20. Terry says:

    The irony is she spoke.
    People have neglected to voice their true emotions.
    One woman spoke up even with mis information.
    But then in my view justified after all these years of others towing the line to keep things variant.
    Good on you lady.
    Enough is enough.

  21. Bermerican says:

    I bet she wishes she kept her behind in that chair and kept her mouth closed.

    • Terry says:

      She spoke the truth fool.

      • Bee says:

        Terry. You either must know her on a personal level or she is your spokeswoman. Either way, she is now in the same boat as the princess workers who we’re let go. She is jobless. Who will fight for her? Who will march with her? Who is loyal to her? Who will put their livelihood on the line for her livelihood? I bet you she wishes she had real people who aren’t hidden behind devices to stand up for her though the heavens fall. Everyone needs their voice to be heard. Some can do it on their own authority. Others need numbers.

      • Robert says:

        No, she was absolutely wrong, but dont think she should have lost her job

  22. So Sad says:

    The CoC is an organization that makes its money from member companies yearly fees. Many of whom rely on the chamber to represent their interests. How can organizations rely on a polarizing figure to public represent the combined interests of the country. the CoC also makes a good portion of its revenue from the revenue from Harbour Nights (vendors and members of the public) The harm to the community co-operative was at stake. This is not about Freedom of Speech, it is about accountability. the chamber made a difficult decision, they had no choice. Her actions polarized the country. the Chamber is a-political ! I promise that if she was faced with the same situation today, she would respond differently. Well done CoC

  23. sayitaintso says:

    Help us all

  24. cha says:

    She should have gotten hot and then captained and crash the ferry… no worries there.

  25. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Mercy…hm hm hmmm!

  26. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Chris…now that’s someone gettin’ thrown under a bus!

  27. Pastor Syl Hayward says:

    Sad for her, as she is once again without a job, and possibly less likelihood of finding another after this fiasco. Also hoping she thinks twice about alcohol use. Responsible drinking is not just appropriate on the road.
    That said, it is a real pity that the Corporation of Hamilton wasn’t as swift to distance themselves from one of their members who went on national television and insulted and vilified members of our community. Same for the PLP which had no problem with such racist remarks as “Red-neck” from a sitting Member of Parliament. Both of these happened within the last few months, so I am not talking about pre-election stuff.
    I guess it is OK when the speaker is black and they are referring either to gay people or to whites. It’s only wrong when the speaker is white.

    • Mike says:

      She will find employment. I am sure there are many who agreed with her outburst that day, and are ready to sign her up as an employee. Will she get a job equal to the position she held at the Chamber,,, probably not. But she will have job offers.

    • frank says:

      it is something wrong with you haywards you both are always trying to stop the right things happening and supporting the wrong things

  28. Pastor Syl Hayward says:

    Please note, I am in no way condoning Mrs. McPhee’s actions. However, I have compassion for any and all who will be without employment in these dire times.

  29. Bull in a hurry says:

    This was the correct decision. Now let’s see what happens next time a ferry pilot crashes into a dock hot! Or a bus driver refuses to take a drug test after crashing her bus!

    • Sick B says:

      nothing at all as usual, they are immune from consequences, like the union is immune from prosecution and apparently someone expressing her opinion. FTU

  30. biggadon says:

    WOW……I really was not expecting this….I had my own bad experience with this lady and I know she is rude and condescending and I also witness what she did at pickled onion but am not sure she needed to lose her job over it but MAYBE THE CHAMBER WAS ALREADY LOOKING FOR A REASON TO GET RID OF HER AND THEY FOUND IT.

    • Frodo says:

      Yeah, she isn’t the nicest person. I agree-I think they were glad to find a reason to get rid of her.

  31. James Herald says:

    Sadly for Joanne, this is the right decision. She now joins the unemployable and will be branded a racist forever.

    • Come Correct says:

      Unemployable maybe, but a racist how? She may be, but I didn’t get that from what she said. It is nice however watching someone get slapped off their high horse. Too many think they’re above the rest.

    • Ess Ess Dee says:

      But how have we have we branded her incorrectly? She already demonstrated who she is! It wouldn’t be a lie! Maybe she can now make a living by selling some humble pie………….as she has plenty of time now to perfect eating and making it!

    • Sick B says:

      just because she said go back to work makes you a racist. Well here “Go back to work” my opinion and I am NOT racist, for all you know I may be black/white/other

      • Next says:

        An older white lady standing on a balcony yelling down at a group of mostly black people to get back to work? Yeah I can see how it’d be perceived that way.

        • FREDA GRANT says:


        • Sandy Bottom says:


  32. Jens Hansen says:

    Rob Ford of Toronto might offer to fill the position.

    • biggadon says:

      JENS I actually like that guy lol go mayor ford lol

      • Double M four twos says:

        Rob Ford is a superstar. I’d vote for him any day!!

  33. Youngbda says:

    As adults we need to stop blaming other people for our own actions and start taking responsibility. When I was growing up I was always told that with every action, there is a consequence. Freedom of speech is different when your just a member of the public or whether your a public figure. She was an Executive Director of the COC so she is in a position where she had to carry herself a certain way in public. No one did not force her to do what she did on that balcony so COC made the decision they had to.

  34. Jolly RAncher says:

    When your that high in such position you have to act very wisely! Better lot next time Ms.Mcaphee ,
    -act &think wisley , you are being looked up to and to act in such a manner is a disgrace &not only to your job . DO BEtter , you will be critised for whatever you do when in such a position.

    Who ever took that picture (applauds)
    Caught right in the act can’t even deny it

  35. judgment says:

    The COC has demonstrated that they are serious about equality and justice. Their decision is a huge statement to black bermudians that there are whites business people that care to get it correct. They did not have to fire her if they did not wish too. They decided to do what they felt was correct. They are to be commended because they leave their nay sayers with nothing to say. We can move on with business and dealing with the substantive issues at hand. This is a hard time for everyone. We all need each other and respect and trust is the foundation of a new Bermuda. COC have done their part to ensure that such a climate can be fostered. The lady in question did not show good judgment but the reality is…she spoke her truth…it is the truth that many like her share but let them beware that such attitudes will not be protected and defended as they used to be in the more openly racist era of Bermudian history!

    • BlueFamiliar says:

      You had me through most of your post, but you lost me at the end because I believe that you misunderstand why she was fired.

      It wasn’t because of her opinion, it was because of her horrible choice of how and when to express it, particularly given her position.

      Also, what she expressed was not racist.

      When people’s first response is to call racism I remember a gentleman who asked me out on a date back when I was single. I politely declined to go on a date with him and he proceeded to rail at me, calling me racist andaccusing me of not being willing to date him because he was black. The reason I declined had nothing to do with his skin colour, which I informed him, particularly given I had previously been dating a black man, it was because he was an ill mannered idiot.

      In other words, if someone criticises someone else, don’t automatically assume it’s because of their skin colour. Nine times out of ten, the reason will be much more obvious.

      • judgment says:

        HOw do you know why she did it? How do you know that race had nothing to do with it? Don’t be so sure to defend and deny racism just as you are admonishing me not to be so sure that racism did not play a role. Now, the reason race was implicated in the above post is because it describes what most people are feeling about her statement but are not saying. IF you were okay with me applauding white businessmen and acknowledging that blacks felt assured by COC move why are you offended by the latter part of the post. Lets be clear what is most appalling about the symbol is a white business woman speaking down to black working class people…Race is palpable in the scenario to deny that is to stick your head in the sand or to be ignorant of what we are really talking about in this dialogue. We know that a riot could have broken out because of that very issue! IT was not so much what she said but what it symbolized….!

      • judgment says:

        After reading my own post again, I am appalled that you are shocked that race was mentioned. The racist era in BErmuda would not have fired her….Why are you in such denial?

  36. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Bermy’s own Paula Deen…get over it people…and get back……………

  37. Arikahs1 says:

    Maybe this was an excuse to get rid of her. I don’t condone her actions but seems like the punishment was a little excessive.

    • Terry says:

      She spoke the truth.

      • Come Correct says:

        Truth is relative.

      • judgment says:

        A truth rooted in Error! Her root beliefs about people like those who comprised the march is probably shaped by other beliefs that are not true or politically correct!

    • Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

      They had to fire her…just imagine if they hadn’t…had to keep the peace brah…i just hope you’ve all learned that your opinion can get you fired.

  38. Sorry Sir says:

    She only said what everybody else who isn’t in the civil service thinks.
    Total overreaction.

    • Come Correct says:

      I’m not in the civil service or the BIU and I have to disagree with you “Hatchet Face” :p. Completely unprofessional and most certainly not lady like.

      • Sandy Bottom says:

        Not ladylike, agreed. Unwise, agreed. But firing her is a scandalous over-reaction.

    • Terry says:

      See above.

    • mixitup says:

      I concur…I’m not in the civil service and I also think she was out of line… I am a professional just as she was, I’m always aware that I represent my employer whether on or off duty..

      • Sandy Bottom says:

        So I can fire an employee who goes out and gets drunk over weekends, because she is drunk while representing my company?

        • It Wasn't Me says:

          @Sandy Bottom: It depends-in some cases you could. If you are the CEO of a company and go out and get wasted on your own time and then make a public spectacle of yourself, you most certainly could be fired.

          Plus, many companies have ‘moral clauses’ that if violated could lead to termination.

          This woman deserved it. I agree with the person who said she appeared undignified. She totally embarrassed her bosses and the COC.

          • Sandy Bottom says:

            Yelling out your opinion does not break any “morality clause” in any employment contract, not that she even had one, as far as any of us know.
            There is no proof, or even implication, that she was “wasted”. That’s another exaggeration.
            She just yelled her opinion about a march, which in turn was a bunch of people expressing their opinion.
            What she did was a bit undignified, at worst. She got fired for expressing her opinion.

            Fine. As long as the same standard, and the same consequences, apply equally to everyone.

            • Hee Hee says:

              Morals Clause Definition:

              A morals clause is a provision within instruments of the contract which curtail, or restrain, or proscribe certain behavior of individuals or party(s) to the contract. A moral clause within contracts used as a means of holding the individual or Party(s) to a certain behavioral standard so as not to bring disrepute, contempt or scandal to other individual or party to the contract and their interests. It attempts to preserve a public and private image of such a party to the contract. In essence one party to the contract is purchasing the other party’s good name or reputation.

              If you look at the above, she most certainly would have violated any morals clause she could have possibly had. It isn’t just about stopping people from sleeping with their colleagues or anything like that, so maybe you should rethink your post, Sandy.

              • Sandy Bottom says:

                Great cutting and pasting from Wikipedia. If you read the rest of it the same article you will see that it is commonly found in contracts for sponsored athletes, and actors. In both those cases the reasons for the clause are obvious.

                There is no suggestion at all, anywhere, that she even had a morals clause, and it seems unlikely. I have quite a bit of experience with employment contracts, for senior people, and have never seen one.

                Even the morals clauses clauses that athletes and actors have are fairly specific, confined to preventing the athlete or actor from abusing alcohol or drugs, or illicit sexual activity. Like I said before, an athlete could yell an opinion from a balcony without breaking a morals clause.

                • Hee Hee says:

                  So what if I copied and pasted from Wikipedia? I never said that I created that definition, I only said what it was. I never said she had a morals clause, either-I distinctly used the words ‘possibly had.’ Sponsored athletes, etc. aren’t the only ones with them-many businesses utilize them as well. Ms. Macphee may not have had one, but the whole point of this discussion concerning morals clauses is to point out that an employer CAN hold an employee accountable for actions it considers unbecoming.

                  Bottom line here is that she brought this all on herself. She clearly thought she was being cute by putting on a show for her friends; bet she doesn’t feel so cute now.

                  • Sandy Bottom says:

                    As long as everyone is going to be held to the same standard, as though they have some sort of imaginary morals clause.

  39. Red says:

    Imagine if she had been drinking and not on vacation. Whilst working. And driving a ferry. And crashed. Would we all agree she should be fired?

    • SMH says:

      Different scenario. I don’t see where any crime was committed.

  40. hmm says:


  41. swing voter says:

    Precedence was set…any employee guilty of gross misconduct will be FIRED immediately. March all you want the next time, McPhee’s punishment has set the tone for zero tolerance by employers. Get Drunk on the job? Disrespect your manager? Damage company vehicle thru negligence? or simply show up for work late too often…. Better watch your backs and act right.

  42. mixitup says:

    Well OBA, that’s 2000 and 1 Jobs, actually 2007 with the fairmont guys not rehired.. Back to the drawing board.. Oh I forgot, they don’t have one.

  43. Catherine says:

    My My My I expected people to say she got was she deserved,and leave it at that.To debate this further really.



  44. Nuffin but da Truth says:

    I think there is more to this termination of her job than meets the eye.

  45. Impressive says:

    I am not happy about this. I don’t agree with what she did at all, and I think she let her emotions (and the alcohol) get the best of her, and its unfortunate that for one small lack of judgement she has lost her job. I don’t take any joy in anyone loosing their job, because frankly, thats what started this entire situation in the first place. I do command her for going on the Sherry J show and addressing the issue, that showed a lot of courage in my opinion.. The entire situation is just unfortunate.. She showed a lot more courage then our beloved Premier, thats all I got to say.. I just hope this was just not “window dressing” on behalf of the Chamber in an attempt to save face, or do they really condemn what she did, I guess we will never know..

  46. Think... says:

    I think the CoC acted appropriately. There was no way they could keep her after that. i really think she should have resign and not allowed herself to be humiliated by her professional colleagues. I guess she was hoping for a different result…

    Now Bro Chris, the next time a BIU member acts inappropriately (drives a ferry into a dock after drinking) please show the same character and don’t defend the indefensible. Thanks

    • Picture this... says:

      She incited violence mate…not negligence

      • Micro says:

        People are responsible for their own actions, I tell you go jump off a cliff and you do it, did I make you jump off that cliff?

        And surely you don’t think driving under the influence while being in the care of many lives is less offensive then telling people to get back to work, right?

  47. Paul Revere says:

    So because one is on vacation, they can say whatever they feel with no fear of retribution. Whilst I do feel sorry for her I believe her actions say a lot about who and what she really feels. I am always amazed in this day and age when that after someone gets caught saying something inappropriate that they apologize and believe that when they said what they did, that they didnt really mean it. Happens too often. We know longer are living in the stone ages. Some things are inexcusable

  48. more than enough says:

    that was one expensive lunch.
    time to dispel the myth that bermudians, in particular the blue collar workers, are lazy good for nothing xenophobes. who don’t want to work.
    somehow this description is never applied to white collar workers, buisiness owners, job creators, ceo’s or cfo’s etc…all of whom make a very comfortable living. yet for blue collar workers (at least outside of government) who barely make a livable wage, it is applied. these workers are already not receiving a competitive wage, now find themselves having to fight for work in an atmosphere where they are not wanted. your work ethic means little when competing for a job with someone who will work twice as many hours or more, for half the price.
    how can you compete with that? this is the obvious attraction of foreign labor. more money for the big shot. this is not in the interest of the
    bermudian worker who is often hung out to dry.
    let this serve as an example that there is accountability on all levels.
    bc workers deserve respect. we do the majority of the dirty work, for the smallest piece of the pie. if you have a job that is.
    know what i’m sayin’ joanne?

  49. Picture this... says:

    I like the explanation about white privilege.

    The Analogy used was if you could put yourself in the shoes of a woman and could imagine if she was asked if she thinks this is a man’s world, she would say yes. If you asked the man the same question, he would say its not a man or woman’s world we are all equal. You see, her perception has been shaped by real experiences (Turned down for top paying jobs, taken advantage of by mechanics, sexually harassed, etc.)It is hard for the man to understand this, although he sympathizes and would say, I don’t treat women like that!

    White people are like the Man and Blacks are like the Woman in the above analogy! Ironically, you can’t live with em and you can’t live without em….Happy wife happy life!

    • Come Correct says:

      So all whites are the same and all blacks are the same? We’re all like different colored robots?

  50. Truth is killin' me... says:

    BREAKING NEWS…Hamilton Princess just hired her!

    • Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

      best comment of the night…hilarious…lmao

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Good hire. The hotel can be sure that she won’t be walking off the job to go for a stroll around town. She will be one of the few making sure guests are taken care of.

      • Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

        or end up being the boss of the people in question …lmao

  51. Whistling Frog says:

    Its good to see that the workers got reinstated, but for this woman to lose her job because she had the freedom to speak, shows you that babylon is alive and well. It has always sacrificed one or two of its own…

  52. lisa says:


    • Sorry Sir says:


    • Mike Hind says:

      She’s OBA? I thought she was COH.

      Oh, wait. She’s white, so therefore…

      Got it.

  53. Next says:

    Whew…that karma was swift! Ha. Her acquaintances didn’t think to tell her to sit down and keep quiet? Embarrassing.

    I see the white privilege that put her in this situation in the first place is rearing it’s ugly head again here on Bernews.

  54. UpsetwithVerdict says:

    I will keep you in prayer Ms. McPhee and I hope this humbles you and you learn to Always be Swift to Listen and Slow to Speak and and Calm Words Carry Away Wrath. There are no winners here and I truly pity you at this time.

  55. Not always right... says:

    This is a good decision by
    Chambber of Commerce…. enough is enough. There is too much of the this going in Bermuda right now, white Bermudian management or foreign management taking advantage of the shortage of jobs to say what they like to Bermudaians and telling them they should be luck to have a job! Then think that an apology is acceptable…..HELL NO – Good enough for her now she has no job. Now this should show the rest of the nasty bunch and there are lots of them in Bermuda – that this is not going to happen or there will be lots more islandwide shut downs – Bermudians NEED to stick together – Stand for nothing and you will fall for anything…!!!

  56. silly says:

    okay some of you are being silly, in the news in america you here of someone being fired every day for saying stuff out of line. intact i think i read a story where a newscaster was fired for articulately responding to a racist viewer, now thats crazy. you are a direct reflection of your business and yes freedom of speech is one thing but she did this in an aggressive manner that was uncalled for no matter what. she knows she was wrong end off. it doesn’t matter what your opinion on the march or not. wrong is wrong.

  57. Looking in says:

    If Mrs. McPhee was black,would she have been fired?

    • Hans says:

      What type of a question is that? You trying to incite a riot?

    • Ohpuleez says:

      Not on yer nelly.

    • Privilege says:

      Your comment seems to insinuate that there is some sort of Black Privilege that allows Black people to make spectacles of themselves while holding a position of leadership in a prominent public organization without facing any disciplinary consequences.

      Is it really possible that there is an unfair advantage to Blacks so when they behave in a way that has the potential to generate negative publicity for the organization that they avoid any reprimand, even though they maintain a position as not only the spokesperson of that organization, but also the one responsible for developing its culture?

      Could it be that after centuries of not providing equal opportunities for people of other ethnic backgrounds, Blacks have now positioned themselves so well within corporate and boardroom hierarchies that it is acceptable when they belittle those who hold skilled and menial labor positions below them for trying to exercise their lawful right to peaceful protest?

      Have Blacks become a class of people so blind to their prestige and economic authority, that they not only feel that they can act without consequence, but expect the public to share that sentiment as well?

      If this is true, we’d better all watch out. Because it’s only a matter of time before they start writing all of the history books to portray themselves glorious initiators of human achievement, displacing entire ethnic groups using violent or deceitful methods to claim their land, promoting their image as the human standard of beauty, and asserting their corrupted religious conduct as the acceptable model of culture. Its been done before.

  58. Pub Grub says:

    Ya, Pickled Onion can hire her as a pot washer! LMAO!

  59. Lordahhhmercy says:

    Jesu H. Christ.

    10 people got fired from redundant positions. The people who put dirty glasses through washing machines and cut limes get their jobs back after the island shuts down on their behalf.

    But the chamber of commerce, her position was terminated because she told these scumbags to go back to work.

    Bermuda… You have it all wrong… Lordahhhmercy

    • sage says:

      Don’t tell us, go yell your opinion at a group of lime cutting, dirty glass washers.

    • Hee Hee says:

      Lordahhhmercy, people like you are the problem. What makes the marchers ‘scumbags’ and why is she more deserving of employment than someone who cleans dishes or cuts limes? You are disgusting. Thank God for people like Mr. Furbert who have the courage to stand up to the true scumbags, people like YOU.

  60. Bermuda123 says:

    Regardless of your views, perhaps it would be sensitive to let this matter drop now. This is not how we need or want ?Bermuda to be portrayed in the international media this incident happened, it is tragic for her, difficult for all involved and emotive for many. But it is OVER. Lets focus on creating jobs for the many who need them.

  61. godson says:

    “Scumbags”..That’s how you view the Union workers? I bet you kept your opinion quiet and to yourself during their march…lol…You should’ve joined Ms. Mcphee on de belcony…

  62. blackbird says:

    The Natives are restless!!

    • Herb Adderley says:

      @blackbird, and just who do you consider to be”natives”

  63. Bermuda Boy says:

    I don’t think her getting fired is anything more than a slap in the face to Chris Furbert, he said he wouldn’t like to see her lose her job. She was doomed as soon as he said it.

  64. neverthesame says:

    I’m sure that she knew that she would lose her job. It was inevitable being in her executive position. She herself would have had no choice but to terminate the position of one of the other serving members of the Commerce. Her actions spoke to the obvious lack of what would be required of her. The board made the correct decision. It’s not about the economic times.

  65. New Bermudian says:

    I don’t think the CoC were at all off-base for letting her go. Her actions were inappropriate, and especially for someone of her position. She should have shown better judgment. That transcends any real or perceived racial implications. When you add that next layer, there was no other choice the CoC could make. I’m no fan of the BIU’s actions here- their action was wildcat and wholly illegal, but I blame the BIU less than the spineless weenies who manage them. If they’ve gotten ‘out of control’ it’s not their fault, it’s the nutless wonders who have managed them for all these years. I think union action is fine, but they need to be held to the rules of the CBA they signed. So long as that happens- be as angry as you like at them, but I assure you, it’s misdirected.

    • Come Correct says:

      She should have just tweeted it.

      • New Bermudian says:

        LOL!!! She should have rephrased it and waited until she wasn’t so riled up herself. Never speak in anger. Shocking IMO that someone in her position would show such exceptionally poor judgment.
        And- if it was actually alcohol-fueled, then all the more reason!!!!

        • Hee Hee says:

          The funny thing is that she has a background in PR. She should have known better than the average person!

  66. Pub Grub says:

    @ LawdahhMercy – so u think that people who are barporters are ‘scumbags’…
    I hope the next time you go out to drink in one of your classier establishments that maybe one of your ‘scumbag’ bartenders purposely drops a ‘mickey’ in your drink, which will make you take off all your clothes and then you get arrested and share a jail cell with Jinx Darrell..maybe he’ll urinate on you and treat you like the ‘scumbag’ that you really are! LOL

  67. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    “Forgive them ,for they no not what they do”.

  68. Kiskadee says:

    Ms. Mc Phee was only expressing how most of Bermuda felt about the strike. What happened to freedom of speech? It is disgraceful that she should lose her job. That is over re-action.

    • New Bermudian says:

      No one would have balked if she had done it in a more dignified and appropriate manner. By virtue of our being a small community, and because she is recognized and identified by her position, shouting at a crowd off a balcony is just inappropriate! Riling up a crowd is just plain stupid, and someone so bereft of judgment shouldn’t be at the helm of our Chamber of Commerce! The CoC is there to build bridges, I would hope, not to throw emotive verbal incendiaries!
      So- more appropriate would have been a calm public statement rather than contributing to lowering the tone. And, because of her approach, it was construed- rightfully or wrongfully- to be part of a greater racial narrative. So yeah, I think she should have been fired. Glad their action was decisive and prompt.

    • Next says:

      Who the hell are you to speak on behalf of “most of Bermuda”?

    • Hee Hee says:

      MOST of Bermuda? I think that is a gross exaggeration. What-did you conduct a poll or something???

      • Toodle-oo says:

        Most of Bermuda who recognize what a REAL insult , inciting or racial harassment is .
        Not babies who get bent out of shape ,cry and scream fake outrage when someone harmlessly looks at them funny or says the weeniest little thing that they don’t like .

        Stay angry . It aint doing you the least bit of good .

  69. Freedom says:

    I have to say I do agree with the outcome to this situation. Theres just too many Bermudians on this Island who feel they are entitled to say whatever they think! What this woman did was indeed extremely rude and Bermudians in general should start to think before they speak. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

  70. Alvin Williams says:

    Ms Macphee will now become a martyr for the anti-BIU; anti-PLP; anti-Bermudian herd mentality elements in this country.
    I suspect that she will not be unemployed for long; she will get job offers.
    Freedom of speech just like the much touted rule of law has always had different meanings for different people. The workers have been accused of breaking the law in their protests; but where is the rule of law for those in the employer class who break employer/employee agreements mutually negotiated collective agreements?
    Freedom of speech means that you can insult; harangue a whole people from behind a cloak of anonymity and spring to the defence of the most vile pronouncements. The divide between the two Bermuda’s has never been deeper and the prospect of further conflict never more certain.

  71. Proud to be Bermudian says:

    Her arrogance out-weighing her intelligence, but I would be interested in what she says behind closed doors.

  72. Mark says:

    Bermuda’s first Casino pit boss???

  73. Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

    Firing Ms McPhee is being very heavy-handed. Ms McPhee expressed an opinion which was never intended to be hateful and/or to incite a major confrontation but rather a woman who was passionately expressing her point of view.

    My interest is her freedom of expression and the freedom of expression for all Bermudians. To fire Ms McPhee sends the wrong signal to the general public, which is to speak up and/or out on any subject that is politically taboo and you will lose your livelihood (job) in Bermuda.

    What happens now? Will this become a trend that permeates through Bermuda? Can you discuss politics in the work place without being fired? Can you be on your own time, watching a parade and voicing (quite forcefully) your own opinion on an issue on the parade itself without losing your job?

    This is a step too far against freedom of expression, even though we agree that Ms McPhee should be sanctioned, but this is not the appropriate measure of sanctioning her. Time off without pay between 1 to 3 months, an offer by her to go the the union HQ and work in that environment to understand the other side of the coin – very helpful. But why attempt to destroy her?

    And let’s stop comparing who gets away with what here. As we tend to never question our political leaders at the appropriate time, but rather use their deceitful actions as score cards to rationalise any counter event and/or action.

    Ms McPhee, find yourself a very good lawyer and I sincerely hope that you will be very well compensated for this very heavy-handed and political over-reaction of the Chamber of Commerce.

    Furthermore, this has positively no bearing on race relations, let’s not try to manipulate it down that road. Although it could be a legal issue of counter race relations in Bermuda.

    Do not attempt to destroy Ms McPhee’s career over the supplanted ‘race relations’ issue in order to secure a larger political goal.

    London, England

    • It Wasn't Me says:

      Valirie Marcia Akinstall: Why do you end every post here and in other forums with ‘London, England’? Really-why? I really want to know why it’s so relevant that you keep mentioning it?

  74. theothersidebda says:

    The irony is that our politicians (from both parties) set the example through their constant bitter comments towards each other both domestically (and seemingly now abroad)….I only wish there were the same repercussions for those individuals so that we can end all of the nonsense and focus on moving this country forward.

  75. Pub Grub says:

    @Valerie Akinstall – you really amaze me..I know you have always been a spokesperson for Pantene and never Afrosheen, but your comments this
    time literally, ‘take the cake!’ I’m glad you are in London, do us all a favor and stay there! LOL!

    • Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

      @Pub Grub…

      In order for her remarks to be racist, they must have been racist slurs, NOT the fact that she is white. The fact that she is white does not make her comments racist, and never will.

      And you must know the difference between a racist slur and a rude comment and/or offending comment?

      But stop and examine your comment to me, your comment taken in its entirety, is it an ethnic slur or just a socially conscious comment?

      I think you are quite intelligent and know the difference.

      @It Wasn’t Me…

      Why is something as insignificant as that be worthy of your time and energy to comment on? When I post Southampton, Bermuda, you will know where I am.

      There is a larger picture of freedom of expression, and by being heavy-handed here it can boomerang. For example, your freedom of expression can be blunted in the workplace, in social settings and at public rallies. But freedom of expression must never be compromised as long as it is reinforced by the rule of law. And that is the cause that you should be concentrating your energies on.

      Extend an olive branch, there are much larger issues that are of paramount importance to you and Bermuda. Focus on the big picture.

      London, England…It Wasn’t Me!

      • Hee Hee says:

        Who cares where you are???

        • Toodle-oo says:

          Exactly ! I actually think that reminding some of us that she’s overseas demonstrates that she maintains in interest in daily events back on the rock whilst showing that she’s not really here.

          Totally unlike a certain poster who trolls here making everyone think he’s in the thick of it all and he’s actually in Toronto.

  76. dontgetit says:

    This woman was fired over a justifiable outburst..this island ain’t going far economically.the island noway can support these destroyers..the number of high risk ppl has outnumber the normal.
    Bermuda is done..wont be investing in divisive and racial unrest place for sure.

    • New Bermudian says:

      If she were a cashier at Calypso or a bank teller, it would have been a different story, I’m sure. But she was who she was, identified with her position. She had training in PR, loads of experience in the corporate world, and expressed a volatility and a hostility not befitting of a representative of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce! It’s a shame (for her), but when you occupy a position of responsibility, and you are a public figure, then you need to know when to keep it to yourself. And to the comment above ‘what about eb’- that’s immaterial. Not saying his actions and divisiveness should be excused, but that doesn’t make Ms. MacPhee any more correct, less blameless, or more justified in her ‘little outburst’. BTW- I am not a staunch unionist or PLP supporter, political alignment isn’t the point here.

  77. foolsgotbs says:

    Is she worse than eb?who he allow to carry as nothing is wrong!4billions.atlantic buildings,higher..ppl got such short memory…conveniently. And that will be their downfall. As U an already see it…how many hotels built under pop?

  78. The Messenger says:

    Joanne McPhee said: “I expressed to them my hope that something positive can come out of all this, and I look forward to finding a way to make that happen.”

    Well, Joanne, you can make it happen by asking Chris for a job cleaning all of the toilets ONLY in the BIU building. When you are done you can come and clean my outside toilet.

  79. Sorry Sir says:

    So where’s the march for this woman losing her job?
    Where’s the march when the dozens of people at HSBC, Butterfield Bank, and Capital G lost their job?

    Wake up people. The BIU doesn’t march for “The People”, they march for their members.

    Don’t be so blind.
    Don’t be so ignorant.

    Ask and landlord if they would allow any person to live in their apartment if they can’t afford rent. Bet you they would tell them to leave in an instant.

    If a business can’t afford to keep certain employees, you can’t demand that the business keep them.

    That’s just common sense.

  80. Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

    I guess she didn’t get the email…

  81. watchfuleyes says:

    @Sorry Sir, The Union does not march for everyone nor does every situation warrant it. I am sure they have to deal with conflicts often. They do not march for non union members and the bank employees are not Unionized as far as I know. But I know that some of the employees of the banks want to become unionized. I imagine they probably feel intimidated by the Bank employers so they have not taken that step yet, but they need to.
    Who would go out on a limb now for McPhee? I would not leave my job to march for her I can tell you that. I am not going to say that the consequences were harsh because for every action there is a reaction, she did not count on that did she? And neither do I think her apology was sincere, she had a motive for running around to the Union after she was caught red handed showing her true colors. Good luck to her.

  82. The Power of Words says:

    As Bermudians, we are stewards of our Island Home….

    As stewards, our way of life should depict…, and encourage virtue that bears the fruit of solidarity amongst people.

    We must ever be mindful of how our choice of words affects others, and the motive behind what drives us…

    In-deed, our Island home needs healing….

    These stormy experiences will cloud, and troubled winds will blow…

    However at times some discover they need a helping hand, when rain/ challenges be-falls them.

    Through it all, it can be used to build character for those who experience it….

    Also, if allowed, can used to strengthen, teach, and heal……… If we’re to ever grow…..

    Again, we are stewards of our beautiful, BLESSED Island Home….

  83. Bermudian says:

    Should she have shouted at them, maybe not. Can she have her own opinion of the situation? Yes! She was NOT the only one who was thinking what she was saying. She was obviously tired of the unnecessary disruptions that the BIU cause when going strike, and to think of all the unemployed people who would jump at the chance to work even a day to make enough money to eat for at least a couple of days. The BIU members give the perception that they’re irreplaceable and untouchable. I hope that the next time there’s an illegal move or decision made by the BIU that Govt has the ba!!s to do something about it.

  84. Mayan says:

    For all those who don’t see the problem here and keep crying about ‘freedom of speech’, let me say AGAIN that yes, there is freedom of speech in Bermuda but that doesn’t mean that one can say whatever they like with no repercussions.

    Imagine if the CEO of a local bank was recorded saying that ‘all black people are lazy’ and that he tries to hire the least amount of black people as he can get away with. What he has said is not illegal and he would not be prosecuted by Gov’t for saying it. HOWEVER, his board of directors would most definitely fire him for the damage he has done to the reputation of the bank.

    Freedom of speech is protection from punishment by GOVERNMENT for expressing one’s views. In North Korea they don’t have that-if they express themselves freely the N. Korean Gov’t will arrest and possibly execute them. In democratic countries we luckily have the right to express ourselves within reason. We can freely criticize the Premier for not doing a good job: I can post comments here on Bernews and bash him to kingdom come as I am exercising my freedom of speech-however, if I were to say that he is doing a bad job and someone ought to harm him, I would be getting a very nasty visit to my door by police…there’s a difference!

    So yes, Mrs. MacPhee did express freedom of speech. She shouted what she did and the police did not arrest her, did they? She is not up on any legal charges, is she (although she was technically disturbing the peace)? However, she still has to live with the fallout of what she said as her employers deemed it inappropriate and that is their right as well. So stop talking about ‘freedom of speech’-she DID exercise her freedom of speech under law and the fact that she isn’t sitting in prison right now as she would be in some places is proof of that. All the comments expressed here fall under ‘freedom of speech’ as well-i.e. making comments about other races but if one was to say “I’m going to make it my mission to harm all the white people in Bermuda” would you accept THAT as freedom of speech? No, you would not. Freedom of speech has it’s limitations…think about it!

    • letmypeoplego says:

      You were going good until the last inference regarding harming people..Thats an extreme comparison!

      • Mayan says:

        I HAD to make that extreme comparison in order for it to hit home. Certain people-and we know what race they are-are justifying Mrs. MacPhee’s actions by describing her words as ‘freedom of speech.’ Well, if a person was to call for the harming of another race, would we still consider that freedom of speech? No, we would say that that person was inciting violence, would we not? Same thing with Mrs. MacPhee-she could have easily incited violence as well. You can’t just say whatever you want whenever you want and then say you are protected by freedom of speech-that was my point!

        • letmypeoplego says:

          Understood..! Good thoughts anyway..

        • Sandy Bottom says:

          Mayan, you have used a straw man argument. Your example, of an imaginary racist and probably illegal comment, would obviously lead to repercussions if your imaginary person ever said those things. But this case was not the same as your imaginary example. She did not say anything racist; she expressed her opinion, in a public place. Her employer heard about it and fired her.

          Turn the imaginary events around a little. What does this say about the power of employers? Apparently if you do anything embarrassing on the weekend you can be fired. Think about it.

      • Mayan says:

        @letmypeoplego: Just to be clear-the part about harming people was just an example. I am in no way advocating harming white people or harming anyone…it is just that-an example used to draw a comparison. I’m not in any way suggesting that anyone harm white people, the Premier, etc. I am trying to make the point that if someone was to say something like that, they would be in a ton of trouble as there are limits to what you can say. It’s all hypothetical and I hope that most people here are intelligent enough to realize that.

  85. Paul Revere says:

    @ Mayan

    And the point of your msg by referring to black people is?

    People can read between the lines

    You could have gotten your the same point across without making reference to any one race.

    But i take it just like Mrs. MacPhee, you are saying what you feel.

    It’s really ok, most people of color already know how the WHITE man feels.

    Hope i don’t see any confederate flag flying outside ya house.

    • Mayan says:

      @Paul Revere: I think you should read my post again-I am NOT defending Mrs. MacPhee or attacking black people as I AM BLACK! There are NO lines to read between! I’m giving another example where someone would say something negative about black people-i.e. the bank CEO-and saying that he would not get away with it so why should Mrs. MacPhee. I think you missed my entire point. As reading comprehension clearly isn’t your strong suit, go back and read my comment and again, dearheart.

  86. Ringmaster says:

    Several years ago there was a blatant breach of Bermuda’s Constitution by the then Premier. Several hundred people, of all shades, exercised their right of freedom of expression to show their displeasure. A certain well known member of the BIU (and she may have been a Senator at the time) called these people a “lynch mob”. No consequences to that racist remark so there would indeed appear to be different standards.

  87. Dee Dee says:

    Shall we take it that perhaps, possibly, remotely, maybe it was liquor talking?

    • letmypeoplego says:

      That wouldn’t make the event sensational enough Dee..! As many others have said, we need to address the big a$$ elephant in this country…

  88. letmypeoplego says:

    I’m curious..Why does she keep being so nice when she’s lost her job and is being labelled as racist? Why does she keep thanking Mr. Furbert? Why does she keep making public statements if they are not helping her situation? I wonder, if the PLP was in power and she had made the very same comment, would the result have been the same?

    I wonder if a black person had made the very same comment if the result would have been the same? I wonder how many other or white were thinking the very same thing that she blurted out? I wonder how many of the membership of the BIU actually morraly support every single action suggested by the leadership of the BIU?

    I wonder why is it that when a foreigner is told the very same thing when they complain about abuse being meted out to them, appears to be acceptable? And yes y’all…i’m not Bermudian and i ain’t white…ready..set..go..let the abuse begin..!

  89. Just a Thought says:

    Maybe it’s just a human fault but when many people are brought before their superiors and told of wrongdoing, they get defensive and defiant and try and justify their actions. By trying to justify actions that are clearly wrong, it is basically saying you don’t see anything wrong with what you have done. That leaves your superiors thinking that you have not learned a lesson as you see nothing wrong with your actions (which is what you are saying when you try and defend them)and makes them suspect that you are therefore highly likely to repeat those same actions; a chance your superiors may be unwilling to take.

    Let this be a lesson to all of us-you can’t talk out of both sides of your mouth. You can’t say you’re sorry on the one hand and then try and justify your wrong actions on the other hand-how then is anyone to believe that you are then truly sorry and truly see the error of your ways, and won’t do it again???

  90. mia says:

    Some ppl in Russia are praying for an earthquake to disrupt. The Olympic games..should they all be dragged by Putin and put in jail? careful Bermuda is treading on freedom of speech, conscience and expression!