Video: BIU President On Garbage Collection

August 12, 2014

Earlier today [Aug 12] Bermuda Industrial Union President Chris Furbert addressed the circumstances surrounding the recent delays with garbage collection, explaining the overtime aspects.

The delays in garbage collection have been ongoing since Cup Match, and the most recent update from the Ministry of Public Works said that they have authorized overtime work and collection crews are aiming to have both Western zones and Eastern zones cleared by Wednesday of this week.

Speaking today, Mr. Furbert said, “I think the public needs to understand exactly why the workers refused to work overtime last week Thursday and Friday.

“We know that Cup Match falls every year on Thursday and Friday, and the build-up of garbage over that public holiday as well as that weekend is always excessive. So the workers were wondering why there was no overtime offered to them on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. Why did they wait until Thursday and Friday to offer them overtime?’

6-minute video of Mr. Furbert’s statement:

Mr. Furbert continued, “My understanding is that they had approved overtime from July 1st to August 2nd, so the overtime had expired, I guess for that month, on the Saturday.

“So I guess they had to go and get permission for them to work overtime Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and I guess it took them three days to get it all authorized, and by that time by the workers were like you know what, it’s now Thursday, Friday, it’s the weekend…so they weren’t interested.

“My understanding is they worked yesterday evening, and they will probably work this evening making sure that the trash is cleared up.

“It was no disrespect to the Minister, it was no disrespect to country, they just felt the timing of it could have been a whole lot better as it relates to them being offered the overtime right after Cup Match and they were ready to work Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday of that week.”

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  1. Garbage Collection Completed In East End | | August 13, 2014
  1. George Brown?! says:

    Mr Furbert. I agree that yes perhaps they could have been given more notice. However, just as you pointed out, Cupmatch is the same days every year. Therefore, using that same argument – it should come as no surprise that the overtime would be required?! It may have been authorized late, but should have come to no surprise to any of the workers. Truth be told if the workers wanted to, they could have worked – they chose not too. And that is okay I don’t blame them for not wanting to. I think they work hard and deserve a break. I just wish you wouldn’t make excuses for them. How often have you given them notice at the last minute, to march, down tools or strike!

    By the way, most of us in the workforce are asked to do overtime with little notice. Why? Because most situations requiring overtime come about because of necessity and with short notice, not because our employers feel like paying us more.

    • brigadooner says:

      “How often have you given them notice at the last minute, to march, down tools or strike!”

      “…most situations requiring overtime come about because of necessity and with short notice, not because our employers feel like paying us more.”

      Spot on

    • Redman says:

      @ George Brown?!,

      Hammer & Nail come to mind. Right on point.

  2. Terry says:


  3. Blood Sucka says:

    The guy continues to TRASH talk!

  4. pressing the flush says:

    same old garbage,nothing changes ‘cept the stench

  5. Quick Sand says:

    All this shows is the PLP took 14 years to screw up Bermuda and the OBA well they self destructed less than 2 years. The DUMBEST Government award goes to the OBA for losing members faster than any government in history.

    The way things are going the OBA will fall into the sea way before Grand Atlantic.

  6. Coffee says:

    This OBA is so insensitive to the government workers in this country . Gosh..

  7. Kangoocar says:

    Total nonsense by biu/furby!!! I am sick and tired of all the lame excuses!!!! The last 5 yrs, BDA has seen a man exodus of approx 5000 foreigners ( thanks to the plp ) so we have 5000 less people generating garbage that has to be picked up!!!! This whole thing stinks more than the garbage that has been left to forement because of this sick game the biu/government workers are playing??? When furby can explain without excuses why we have not had this problem in recent memory after cup match and why this year is different, I might listen to him!!! I would like to remind everyone of this fact!!! The only day that should have been a problem was the FRIDAY pickup for the east end!!! And that was okayed by the government for overtime pay on the Saturday to have it picked up!!!! How anyone can even slightly justify what furby is saying is absolutely mind boggling??????

  8. somuchless says:

    Some have no work while others complain that they get additional work and PAY thrown at them. You can’t win. I’ll take the additional work and PAY anytime.

    • somuchless says:

      And I forgot so many gov workers where upset about the furlough day. Well here is your chance to make it up. No wait you’ll rather complain. Smh

    • Jules says:

      Why not have garbage contracted out?
      That way people who want to work will work.

  9. Scotty says:

    Totally agree George Brown. The thing that I am confused by is that we normally have garbage collection twice a week. So we eliminated one day of garbage removal for the east and one day for the west. Bearing in mind we used to have only one collection per week and not forgetting these smaller trucks, what is the big deal? Just pick up the garbage. I am sure there are days when employees are finished earlier than normal, no complaining about that.
    In essence this whole conversation is garbage, employees just need to do their job. We need to give this topic a rest.

  10. Say What? says:

    Mr. Furbert says “they weren’t interested”. Well I know a lot of Bermudians who would be interested in a job so it’s unfortunate that once again a few put self above country. Stop playing petty games and think of the health and welfare of the island.

  11. Alvin Williams says:

    Five thousand foreigners left Bermuda to return to their countries of origin and I am suppose to shed tears as a Bermudian?
    It is what it is.

    • jt says:

      WTH are you talking about?

    • Creamy says:

      And there you have it. You don’t a damn about the Bermudians made unemployed as a result. Your racism overwhelms everything.

    • Sandgrownan says:

      Five thousand tax payers Alvin, you know, who keep the damn place afloat. Jesus Christ you are dumber thna a sack of hammers.

    • Enough says:

      If you had any understanding of how the economy works in Bermuda then you should be shedding some tears.

      Absolutely clueless……

    • PRC says:

      I’m still here and getting status Alvin.

      How you like them apples?

      I will be Bermudian just like you!

  12. Your kidding? says:

    This is just part of the long hot summer we were warned about!

  13. pressing the flush says:

    anywhere else these lazy people would have been terminated and their jobs given to people that want to work and will work.
    I have nothing but contempt for these non working Bermudians that somehow manage to have a job and yet complain at anything and everything.

  14. Creamy says:

    So Furbert admits it was the “workers” who let the country down.

  15. Inspector Gadget says:

    People don’t want to work in an environment where jobs are scarce… clearly people aren’t doing THAT bad…

  16. Cleancut says:

    Whenever there’s some hanky panky going on and the workers get a chance to down tools Chris Furbert turns up. It’s quite evident that these guys on trash collection have a little click of their own. It only takes one or two bad apples to disrupt the whole bunch. Then Chris Furbert can be used as the shield.

    • Cleancut says:

      Now there’s a good name for CF “The Shield”

  17. TrashKing Furbert says:

    Here we are in a first world country and now I’m thinking we are a third world country…….poor excuses.

  18. Dr. Dread says:

    Let’s go OBA ‘deal with this small problem before it becomes a big one. – or is it already!
    If the running Govt. can’t deal with as something simple as Trash pick up then what chance do we have on something big as the economy.
    It seems like the OBA sets themselves up for the PLP to jump on them – every time.
    Now it’s Trash Gate ! — how about solve this issue and fix the real problems.

  19. Only in Bermuda says:

    This is a joke, right? They didn’t want to work overtime on Thursday and Friday because it was the weekend? In the rest of the world, the weekend is Saturday and Sunday and you work overtime when required.

  20. Enough says:

    Wow – Furbert is so articulate in the way he speaks………

    As entertaining enough as it is hearing Furbert trying to string a sentence together the BIU really do need to pipe down on the majority things.

  21. Faith says:

    Sounds to me like the BIU leadership failed the workers. They should have had the overtime request in and approved prior toCup Match since they were already aware they would need it.

    Some prior planning would go a long way.

  22. PLP SUPPORTER says:

    Lazy Bermudians need to start to learn how to work!!
    Offered overtime but didnt want to because it was “thursday, friday then the weekend” PLEEEEEEEEEEASE. Those refusing to work should all be fired and then would understand how lucky they are to have a job!!

    • Evie says:

      The OBA why do they always wait until things get out of hand before they fix it WTH this party is funny as hell hahahahaha stop blaming others for your willingness to just stay invisible and not respond to anything was that also in the document how to trick Bermuda shame on the OBA SMDH

  23. Cow Polly says:

    Oh pleeze…….. Cup Match was 11 days ago! If one garbage pick up day was missed, it should have been picked up the next time, we’re not talking tons here, mostly two bags instead of one. No this is purely mischief making on the part of the BIU / Government workers who missed out on their overtime.

  24. Archie says:

    Thank you, Bernews, for allowing comments unlike the other media

  25. Redman says:

    I guess this is what Mr. Furbert meant a few weeks ago by phase two!! Any real or perceived slight is classed as disrespect and worthy of non cooperation.

    By anything necessary right?. Thanks got it.

  26. This is why some departments overspend... says:

    Explain to me why a holiday that comes around every year at the same time and effects the same days with the similar amount of trash every time requires new planning every time? And why do they need overtime to do this? Pull out larger trucks, slot in longer shifts. With standard pay. The amount of overtime and its abuse contributes to the overspending done by this department. I understand it’s more trash, but everyone knows it’s a holiday so pull out the bigger trucks, put on more trucks/men, temporarily extend the shifts, work faster. Yeah, the above will cost more, but standard pay is 3x less than triple time pay. No reason to pay that much for shifts during calendar work days.

  27. Loved the part where he states they were winding down for the holiday?? What is that to mean – less work than what they normally do?? My trash was never picked up on Tuesday so heck knows what they did this day.
    If it is raining under the CBA they are issued raincoats so the rain should not slow the pickups.

    This is screaming for a private firm to run.