Labour Proposal Will Not Be Debated On Friday

March 20, 2014

The Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy confirmed this evening [Mar 20] that the Labour Relations Amendment Act 2014 will not be debated in the House of Assembly tomorrow.

Minister Fahy said, “We believe that it is in the best interest of good industrial relations that we defer tomorrow’s debate of this Bill. It is Government’s intent however to keep this on the Order Paper and debate the legislation in the weeks to come.”

The Minister added, “Discussions between our union partners continue and as I said a few weeks ago, the Government remains committed to finding a mutually agreed way forward in how we address our labour matters.”

A few weeks ago the Government announced a proposal to amend the Act to make public transportation [ferries and buses] an essential service, which would then require them to give a 21 day strike notice.

On March 5th staff from the Department of Public Transportation and Marine & Ports marched on the House of Assembly, and on March 7th, Minister Fahy — who was joined by BIU President Chris Furbert — announced that the Act would not be debated at that time.

The Minister said it would stay on the Order Papers with the intent to be debated at a later time, and both the Minister and BIU President said that the two sides will have discussions about the proposal and labour matters in general.

Speaking at that time, Mr. Furbert said, “The BIU is pleased that the Minister has decided to carry the bill over with the understanding that we will sit down and have the proper dialogue that is necessary.”

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Comments (26)

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  1. Coffee says:

    Why of course not ! It’s not the right thing to do , not now , not ever !

  2. Mazumbo says:

    People Power !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • BETTTY TRUMP says:


      Keep standing strong Chris Furbert and representing the interest of the people. The battle is not over, but continue on….

      Workers Rights and Equal Justices for all is key.

    • Jules says:

      Are ya sure it is “people power” or Chris power? AT some stage we have to think bigger and better than striking for little causes that in effect inconvenience us, the little working class person who does not own a car.

  3. nuffin but the truth says:

    oh I can’t wait for PRIVATE Companies to take over the top heavy Civil Service Depts and the Buses and the Ferries and the Government itself!

    Bring in McDonald’s too…I could murder a Big Mac and Fries.

    • Speak Truth says:

      Be careful for what you wish, may not like what you get. Services under PRIVATE COMPANIES DOES NOT ALWAYS ensure better delivery of services or operations. You might end up eating those words.

  4. jt says:

    No need to bring it forward. Governemnt has positioned themselves well.

  5. Wondering Why says:

    OBA diehards suspiciously silent. Feeling a bit let down maybe? Whatever happened to your cries of STANDING UP TO THE UNION? Not gonna happen.

    • CBA says:

      The way I see it, the OBA did exactly what they wanted to do (and what was needed to be done). They showed the Union what could happen if strikes were to be used every two minutes for little things. In return, the Union isn’t talking about striking as much since this all came up. The power to strike remains, but will likely only be used for more serious matters, as it should.

      Yet again, the OBA do a win-win for Bermuda.

    • Sandgrownan says:

      Actually, i think you misread the situation. He’s holding this over their head. Play ball or else.

    • inna says:

      LOL “It is Government’s intent however to keep this on the Order Paper and debate the legislation in the weeks to come”

      I guess us OBAers can read a little better than you non-OBAers?

      • BETTTY TRUMP says:

        While this “BILL” is still on the “Order Papers” to be brought before the HOA, I do believe it at least gives the Union the ability to have “Consultation” with the government. I would like to believe Fahy would engage in REAL Consultation, and the outcome will and should reflect what will take place with the bill.

        However, I believe it is a political strategy only by the OBAubp, merely as an appeasement process to ensure calm from the Unions in the interim. But knowing the nature of the OBAubp, they are most likely to let the bill go thru…folks are aware of this government objectives.

        The Union is smarter than kindergarten school

      • Wondering Why says:

        No, we actually can see this for what it really is. The OBA knew full well if they went forward with this bill, all h*** would break loose with the union. Keep on thinking this bill is going to simmer on the back burner to “keep the union in line.”
        Personally, I think its going to die a quiet death, never to heard about again.

    • Jules says:

      “Every two minutes for every little thing” is correct. Whatever happened to concerned adults sitting down and communicating before inconveniencing hundreds of the very people who are trying to make ends meet – the workers.

      Across North America public transit is an essential service. It is linked to the economy of any country; Bermuda is no exception. This is one area where Chris needs to look at the facts and not surrender to base emotion. Yes!! Chris knows that he has the power to bring Bermuda to a stand-still but to what end and who really loses in the long run? Us the regular working class folk, not the white monied class. Think BIGGER and smarter Chris my brother.

  6. Citizen Banned says:

    It is so sad that the workers are completely unaware that making their jobs ‘essential’ would pretty much guarantee them. In these hard times that would be a really sensible move.

    This was perhaps the most counter productive march ever conducted by the BIU.

    They should be encouraging this move by OBA. Too blind and stoopid to know any better. Lambs led to slaughter by Mr F – who has been re-elected again.

    • Wondering Why says:


      What’s truly scary is you calling somebody stupid and misspelling the word!

      • Citizen Banned says:

        What is even more scary is that you thought it was a mistake. People spell words in certain ways so they won’t be deleted or rejected by the host site.

        In case you were wondering why…

        • Wondering Why says:

          Uhhh….OK. If you say so.
          Great political response wink wink.

  7. Cow Polly says:

    Actually Mr Fahy has got the Union right where it wants them, if you don’t play nice, we’ll not play nice and push the amendments through, so behave!

    • BETTTY TRUMP says:

      Unions are smarter than Kindergarten school, as they are very much aware of the political strategy employed by Mr. Fahy. They are also able to predict the actions of the government, however in an attempt to allow the consultation process to take place the Unions will follow thru, however it does not stop either side from being aware of the possible outcomes in regards to this matter. One would hope government is doing this in good faith, and honest brokers in the process.

    • Mazumbo says:

      I don’t think so he was avoiding an Island shut down.

    • Wondering Why says:

      You are clearly delusional. I think it is the other way around, dear. The OBA is finding the Union just a tad bit harder to handle than they thought. Otherwise, they would have pushed it through.

      • jt says:

        Wrong. They’ve simply positioned themselves to try and avoid wildcat strikes without having to go this route – unless they have to. It’s there – looming – the Union being aware of it works for government. Next itme there is a wildcat strike government can simply say “and this reinforces why the legislation is required.” I don’t think they ever intended to bring it forward right away.

        • Wondering Why says:

          OK so by your logic they’re going to ‘wait’ til there’s another wildcat strike before putting into place a law that will prevent them in the first place? That makes sense to you? That’s like saying we’ll put a law banning murder or stealing on the back burner ‘just in case.’ Anybody contemplating killing or robbing somebody better think twice, because if you do it we:re going make it law. However, in the meantime its there ‘looming’ to keep you on line.
          Absolute rubbish!

  8. Alvin Williams says:

    When are we going to see a law that prevents employers and business concerns from laying off and making workers redundant while at the same time boasting about how much profits they made?

  9. Speak Truth says:

    Great idea Mr Williams. Well said