BIU Thanks Workers For Storm Clean-Up

October 28, 2014

Bermuda Industrial Union [BIU] President Chris Furbert has extended his gratitude on behalf of the Officers and members of the BIU to the workers at the Parks Department, Custodians, the Department of Works and Engineering, and other government workers who have assisted and continue to assist with the clean-up and restoration of the island after the two hurricanes, Fay and Gonzalo.

The BIU said, “Additionally, Mr. Furbert wishes to thank the other workers in Bermuda, including the Bermuda Fire Service, Bermuda Electric Light Co. Ltd., Bermuda Telephone Co. Ltd., Bermuda CableVision, Corporations of Hamilton and St. George’s, the Bermuda Police Service, and the Bermuda Regiment, all who continue to restore Bermuda to its pristine condition prior to the hurricanes.”

“In particular, I wish to thank the Bermuda Fire Service staff who came to the aid of the BIU on the Saturday after Hurricane Gonzalo as water had collected on our roof and caused some damage to the offices below,” said Mr. Furbert.

Mr. Furbert said that he is “certain that all of Bermuda is appreciative of the ongoing effort by the above-named workers.”

“It’s at times like this that we all recognize the value of those men and women who not only keep Bermuda beautiful and clean, but who also make our lives comfortable.

“With the Government’s continued insistence that privatization, outsourcing, and mutualisation is the way forward, I contend that no private company would have been able to carry out the restoration work that was required in such a short space of time,” finished Mr. Furbert.

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Comments (23)

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  1. LickMyChicken says:

    “With the Government’s continued insistence that privatization, outsourcing, and mutualisation is the way forward, I contend that no private company would have been able to carry out the restoration work that was required in such a short space of time,” finished Mr. Furbert.

    Really? Then why it took so long to build the sidewalk on North Shore near C-Mart, why did it take so long to build the wall at the Paget stop lights near Harmony Club, why did it take so long to build the wall near Waterlot and why doesn’t the trash truck pick up on the days it they are supposed too and I say this because most days they’re either late or don’t show up at all.

    • Onion says:

      Someone needs to tell Mr. Furbert about BELCO.

    • Good for Goose and Gander says:

      Lickmychicken – agreed!

      I thought what a ridiculous statement made by Mr. Furbert. Surely the private companies would be comprised of the very same stellar workers – you know the ones who show up and provide value for money. So what is Mr. Furbert really saying. I’d say that the private companies would do a better job! No 10 men on the job with 1 man holding the sign and the other 9 W&E (Watching and Earning). All 10 men would be opersting at a minumum of 75% capacity. A darn sight more productive than the current workforce standard.

  2. el presidenti says:

    ……and don’t forget to pay your dues as new suits are badly needed!

  3. Strike fund says:

    You forgot to thank the crew of the HMS Argyle.

    • somuchless says:

      In short, they’re foreigners. Need I say more.

    • Raymond Ray says:

      They aren’t unionized.In other words, they are not brothers nor sisters contributing to Mr. Chris Furbert and other staff members wages. Sad yes, but true :-(

  4. Franklin jr says:

    Was the BIU billed for the time? Did the fire service use any inventory from the government stores?

  5. Naive Observer says:

    Mr. Furbert,

    Many of the entities you list ARE private companies.

    I have no doubt that local construction and landscape firms could have done much of the work that W&E did.

    • Varied says:

      He’s likely giving credit to the workers in those privately run companies that are part of the BIU, as opposed to the companies themselves.

  6. Warship says:

    Thankyou sailors of The HMS Argylll. It is comforting that you were able to assist.Thanyou!

  7. High road says:

    Great statement up to the last paragraph

    • Ronald says:

      Yup, I knew he wouldn’t be able to help himself. Sad and pathetic at the same time.

  8. Creamy says:

    Belco, telco and cablevision ARE private.

    What he should have said is “no publicly controlled entity could have carried out the restoration work so efficiently”. I’m sure that’s what he meant.

  9. bluebird says:

    And we are still a “DEBTOR” Island/country.
    we owe “BILLIONS” and still dont have a Balanced budget and no way to pay off the HUGE DEBT.
    Any suggestions there “FURBY” or the ilke in the BIU/PLP.

  10. SMH says:

    Anyone who honestly thinks that an outside landscaping company with the same amount of manpower as Parks couldn’t have done the same amount of work not only faster but also for significantly less money, with no overtime, needs to have their head examined….or is a civil servant themselves.

  11. Alvin Williams says:

    The president of BIU is correct if these service were privatize or out source and if there were no Parks or Public Works ; than surely they would have been overwhelmed with the task of clearing and cleaning up Bermuda in the aftermath of these storms. Not to mention the Bermuda regiment which is slanted to be down size. Than there was the role of the Lamb/Foggo facility which was there in case it was needed with the causeway closed. The big question which is not been asked is the situation of our power system and how vulnerable Bermuda’s electric power source is having to depend on over head lines to connect Bermuda it’s electric power source. The warning was made quite clear in the aftermath of hurricane Emily which struck Bermuda in the 1980′s. That was over 20 years ago and had the will had been there; by now with underground lines some of this disruption would have been minimize. What makes us think; no matter how hard our Belco workers worked to put our system in place and how lucky we are to be able to depend on help from our Caribbean cousins. The day may arrive that a hurricane make strike both our areas; where they will have to stay home and look after their own countries; than what Bermuda?

    • SMH says:

      The outside landscaping companies which would then be made up of Parks employees (who are now happier to be their own bosses and shareholders of their own Companies)do the work. The only difference the hardworking ones get rewarded and the lazy ones get fired

  12. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    Thank you B.I.U. for protecting the workers rights through all the storms that we have had since you were formed…even the storms ….in a teacup ….as the gangesters …termed it….

  13. Warship says:

    Botanical Gardens is going to take 50 govt employees 3 months to clean it up.
    A private landscaping company will take 20 private employees and clean it up in one week!
    There lies the difference!

    • Useless says:

      Parks has over 160 employees plus some serious equipment…a week TOPs would do tje
      Botanical Gardens…time for a new director of Parks and/or new Permanent Secretary

    • Believe says:

      I think in fairness the reason for the closure of Botanical gardens and Arboretum may be more to do with the effort to save the mature trees than a simple ‘clean-up’ operation. Apart from heavy lifting equipment being on-site, the trees would then need to be braced and stabilised until the root system recovers.

      • Raymond Ray says:

        That is a logical explanation for the delay in re-opening the Botanical Gardens to the general public. I further believe it’s also about safety.
        Can anyone imagine what kind of “stink” would be thrown at the Parks Dept. / O.B.A. for opening the Park knowing there was a possibility of a trees or limbs falling on someone? There are numerous large / and small trees that need to be shored before allowing anyone to lay under them having a picnic or whatever else they may enjoy doing in the comfort of the shady trees…