Home Affairs Minister Meets With BIU President

June 20, 2014

This afternoon [June 20] the Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy met with the President of the BIU Chris Furbert and other representatives of the BIU to discuss the labour interruptions this week.

This follows a week which saw two instances of industrial action, with bus service temporarily suspended on Tuesday, while ferry services were affected on Thursday.

A Government spokesperson said, “The Minister expressed the Government’s concern at the disruption to the transportation services and the concerns that workers downed tools without notice.

“The Minister also reminded the BIU of the essential services legislation that is currently on the order paper in Parliament, and that one of the reasons it was tabled was to prevent such actions.

“The President accepted that the actions taken by the Marine and Ports Services workers was premature and committed to ensuring better dialogue between senior civil servants and union representatives before any form of industrial action was taken.

“It was accepted that in respect of the Department of Public Transportation issues Government could have done more to prevent such actions, the staff at Marine and Ports Services should not have downed tools.

“The Minister advises that the Government remains committed to a wholesale re-write of the existing labour legislation which is ongoing at this time to bring the legislation into a more modern framework.

The events over the past few days indicate that the current legislation for dealing with labour disputes is not as effective as it should be and it is hoped that a model following International Labour Organisation principles will change the way in which disputes are handled.”

Earlier this year the Government announced a proposal to make public transportation [ferries and buses] an essential service — which would then require them to give a 21 day strike notice — however in March they announced it would not be debated in the House, and would stay on the order paper.

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Comments (40)

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  1. Onion says:

    Low-cost, efficient public transportation is almost a human right.

    The Union may be winning every battle with their no-notice strikes but they are losing the war.

    • Hmmm says:

      Did the employee use his position in the union to cause disruption? Who was responsible for the disruption. This gang mentailty needs to end now.

      • Steve Biko says:

        You mean like de gang mentality that de Oligarchy used in de day, now de people are returning de like favor that their Great Frand Parents suffered you can’t take it!!!!!!
        Karma is a B…….

        • Onion says:

          The people suffering from transport strikes are the poor, elderly, and tourists.

          • Black Soil says:

            The BIU are a slow moving train wreck. THEIR actions will result in change that they don’t want. How STUPID.

        • Hmmm says:

          Please explain more BIKO, On the plan and how it will happen ?

        • Riley B King says:

          Why have you started using the word ‘de’ instead of ‘the’?
          You think it makes you sound cool?


      • hmmm says:

        There needs to be consequences for the person responsible.

        Either Furburt, the employee or someone else needs to be punished.

        The public were made to suffer.

  2. somuchless says:

    I vote on public transport being an essential service. If the biu has done it once, they’ll do it again and again. You can’t interrupt when you feel like it.

    Now make Furbert apologize to the locals and tourists that he affected.

  3. Family Man says:

    That must be quite a meeting; one with no b@lls, the other with no brains.

  4. Ringmaster says:

    Simple solution. Illegal strike/work stoppage outside the Collective Bargaining Agreement results in $5,000 fine for the first hour; $50,000 the next hour then $100,000 per hour. Payment made by the BIU. The BIU to pay the Government $1,000,000 up front to pre pay the penalties to ensure payment. If this is not accepted or the fine is not paid and exceeds the prepayment, the Berkley Bond will be called.

  5. nuffin but the truth says:

    The Government Ferry Service should be abolished and turned over to the Private Sector.
    This and similar comments in the Media have made it quite clear what the Public in Bermuda want.

    …..it should also put the Bermuda Government ‘On Notice’ and understand that the question now arises…..How many of these comment writers are Voters and can we afford to upset them,the answer of course is NO.
    The biu should also understand that people are not going to stand for these stupid stoppages and that their days are numbered too.

    Get with the program and do your jobs or QUIT!

    There are 1000′s of people that need work and is it really all that difficult to work on the Ferries…we all know the answer to that too.

    Bus Drivers should also be ‘ON Notice’…how many people would like your jobs that are not working now…. hmmmmmm..

    • Redo says:

      I agree completely. You lot should be thankful for the jobs you have. Do your job or move on. YOU ARE ALL REPLACEABLE!

  6. Beg to differ says:

    Whether we like it or not….. The Ferry and Bus services are NOT essential services. They are convenient. If they were done away with tomorrow, the public would adapt. Families would come up with creative ways in which to get little Johnny and little Aishia to school and themselves to work.

    I say bring iPrivatisation. On!

    • Hmmm says:

      If they are not essential then stop them NOW. I no longer wish to subsidise them.

    • Pastor Syl says:

      I totally disagree with your comment that these services are not essential. For many of us, the buses are the only means we have of getting from A to B in a timely fashion. Walking is not always an option and Bermuda no longer has cast drivers who will stop and give one a lift. I know this first hand. I am betting you have your own transport, and have had one for quite a while

  7. Come On Man says:

    all we do is talk talk talk. It doesn’t do anything. Especially when your dealing with ignorence.

  8. James Herald says:

    Government: GROW A PAIR. Fire them all and then re-hire those who qualify (pass the weed test).

    Result: We will have foreign bus & ferry drivers.

    …and Bermudians continue to moan about PRCs. HAHA pathetic…

    Result: Om Om det ain’t furr om om like. Om om. vee demaaan jooorbs. You peeples is prajudith.

    Best of luck Bermuda dealing with this wide spread form of ignorance.


  9. Doctor do more says:

    OBA,grow some balls!

  10. Silence Do Good says:

    I would like to suggest that the “People’s Campaign” manifesto speak to the unions and these wildcat strikes that inconvenience the people of Bermuda and hold our economy at ransom. Come on “People’s Campaign” do something useful for the people.

    • Sad says:

      That would be an interesting conversation given who are the de facto leaders of the PC.

    • Nuts says:

      I know you are just being cheeky with your comments since we all know the “peoples Campaign” is the BIU / PLP.

      • Now, now says:

        Didn’t you know that not only is the PC the BIU/PLP in disguise but their entire purpose is to bring down the OBA government by any means possible, Bermuda and Bermudians be damned.

      • SMH says:

        It the “Some Peoples Campaign”

    • Huh says:

      Now that really makes sense. But you forgot that the People’s Campaign is for just-us!

  11. Redman says:

    This stupidity really needs to stop, illegal wildcat strikes should be met with heavy fines. Its past time that the OBA grew a pair and deals with this nonsense. I wont hold my breath though.

  12. James Herald says:

    These single digit IQ strikers are a complete waste of air. Bermuda is quite literally hanging by a thread and these fools could take us down.

    OBA do something. Get some gonads.

  13. Sir George says:

    Work stoppage is all the only effective tool that the “Bottom Feeders” have in order to get their message heard. We may not agree with it but it is a right they have as human beings. Give’um hell boys!

    • Come On Man says:

      think about who it effects before you support these idiotic stoppages..

  14. bermudaboy says:


  15. It's that time says:

    How many tourist are we willing to make never return. This happens all the time. The union has to much power, and they abuse it. All these people stuck in all that heat, because a few people have some simple problems. If you don’t like your job, then quit……. It’s not rocket science. If we can’t find no one locally, bring in foreigners who will never go on strike. Forget your problems, the island is losing money, tourist and respect. This is all we need in these times.

  16. John Thorne says:

    The BIU should have received a yellow card after the buses went out on strike and another yellow card when the ferries did which would result in a red card and sending off! Of course the legislation needs changing and should have been changed decades ago as the union has been doing this my entire life. The Government also needs to deal with the union with a firmer hand when they hold wildcat strikes and don’t follow their own agreements. If the Government doesn’t discipline the union like parents don’t discipline their children they know they can get away with anything.

  17. In my humble opinion….any and all essential services should be covered by Bermuda regiment,in alternet unifiorm with response teams in case of stupidity…it is high time we recognised the importance of travel.For instance….the possability of a diabetic or medic alert indevidual relying on that transportation,(minors,autistic,aged,alzeimers patients,),all need…absolutely need transport….and have a reasonable expectation to do so as well!To remove this expectation with a probability or possability of harm or great harm as a consequence….then the cause of the percievable harm lays squarely at the feet of those responsible!My question is:-…Do biu have liability insurance?….because they absolutely should have it if their decision making is lokely to cause harm.Hell they want ransom…we want liability in case a loved one befalls harm or inconvenience due to bius’ direct action…

  18. bluebird says:

    Those that are emplyed in the BUS SERVICE and the FERRY SERVICE ,compare your pay check to there paycheck and you will find that you are underpaid.Beside you DO NOT get the benifits or PENSION PLAN and early retirement that they do.And are they all still getting (14) weeks sick leave?????
    The BOTTOM LINE is that we cannot afore to keep BORROWING $276Million per year to pay the Civil Service as the ecconomy is evolving but will never come back BECAUSE the TAXES are too high the DEBT is too big to carry and the population is getting OLD.The (14) years of the PLP/BIU chaced away our younger generation.
    Not sufficiet youmg people in your population your society will die.

  19. Terry says:

    Many just don’t get what is going on behind the scenes.
    The opposition and the union/s know where they stand. They know that anything like firing Gov. Employees and starting anew will bring the island to it’s knees and the compensation required.
    1000 times fired/redundant et al. Your talking GDP.

    OBA has the balls. It’s the p**** heads that can’t see over their fat bellies and stable employment to fathom that government must have income to pay them.
    Whats a hundred dollars for an hour or two when you make the salaries of a deckhand (google salaries).

    Operation Pressure Cooker.
    Next week:- Section 8.

  20. Transporting says:

    Privatise. We, taxpayers cannot afford to keep running these units. We don’t have money to fix toilets, repair buses, maintain ferries, hire and manage personnell effectively. Put PTB and Marine and Ports out to bid. Subsidise certain routes… just as AMTRAK receives a subsidy from the Federal and State departments. Privatise, as a country we cannot afford it. Privatise…..that’s the way to

  21. Actual definition…publoc service:-public service….when you block service your definition changes ….sorry charlie…we don’t want tunas with good taste…we want tunas dat taste good…

  22. You gottah provide a service to require a pay check…..or get it someplace else!

  23. Jo Blo says:

    Talk about being our own worst enemy at times…