PLP: ‘Join In Solidarity With The Unions’

April 27, 2017

“Without the efforts of Labour unions and workers, we would not have the rights that everyone in Bermuda benefits from,” Opposition Leader David Burt said today, with Mr Burt urging everyone to attend the BTUC’s Solidarity Service on Sunday and Solidarity March on Monday, which are being held to mark International Workers Day.

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Mr Burt said, “The PLP stands in solidarity with the Bermuda Trade Union Congress and all Bermuda Labour unions this International Workers Day and every day.

“May Day should be a day of celebration to mark the contributions and sacrifices of all workers and their organisations. Instead, it is a day of persecution,” Mr Burt said, adding that Bermuda’s Labour union leaders “have admirably dedicated their lives and careers to advocating for the people.

“May Day is the commemoration of the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, when demonstrators were killed in an attack by police, while standing up for their fellow workers. It is marked all over the world by marches and demonstrations.

“Without the efforts of Labour unions and workers, we would not have the rights that everyone in Bermuda benefits from; rights based on the principles of fairness, equality and justice. The PLP is appalled that our society is regressing into one where the right to assembly is not just disregarded, but punished.

“We encourage all our members, supporters and everyone in Bermuda to join us in solidarity with the unions and attend the BTUC’s Solidarity Service this Sunday, April 30th at 10:55am at St. Paul’s AME and to march together in the Solidarity March this Monday May 1st at 12:00pm from Victoria Park.

“We must join together to keep these rights that those before us so vigorously fought for and that we so desperately still need,” Mr Burt concluded.

To mark International Workers Day, the Bermuda Trade Union Congress [BTUC] will be holding a ‘Solidarity March’ from Victoria Park at 12 noon on May 1st, and a ‘Solidarity Service’ on Sunday, April 30th at St. Paul A.M.E. at 10.55am, and everyone is welcome to attend.

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Comments (16)

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  1. Whats funny is, most Union members are Black and P.L.P. came out of de Labour Movement, but P.L.P. SAY they support Labour but Union members vote against P.L.P.
    Chamber of Commerce is a Union for merchants.

  2. Know it All says:

    Sigh…. “The PLP is appalled that our society is regressing into one where the right to assembly is not just disregarded, but punished”

    1. Point 1 on your statement
    As the Centre for Justice clearly laid out (in relation to section 10 in the Bermuda Constitution Order 1968): “Peaceful assembly must also be distinguished from activity that can constitute a criminal offence. By way of clarification, the law does not permit those gathered for assembly and protest to block public access ways or rights of way.”

    2. Point 2 on your statement
    Thankfully we have a legislature that has ensured we have laws to assist in having the right to assemble and not prevent democratic process from proceeding in Bermuda’s best interest.

    Any person who wilfully, by force or fraud, interferes or attempts to interfere—
    - with the free exercise by either House of the Legislature of its authority; or
    - with the free exercise by any legislative committee of its authority; or
    - with the free exercise by any member of either House of the Legislature of his duties or authority as such member or as a member of a legislative committee,
    commits an offence against this Act.
    Punishment on conviction on indictment: imprisonment for 2 years or a fine of $16,800 or both such imprisonment and fine.

    3. Point 3 (since I know it will go there)
    Police and Criminal Evidence Act 2006 (Section 99)

    Where any provision of this Act—
    - confers a power on a police officer; and
    - does not provide that the power may only be exercised with the consent of some person, other than a police officer,
    the officer may use reasonable force, if necessary, in the exercise of the power

    Hopefully the Union march is about how workers’ rights have progressed over the past 100 years, and not on the events of the past 5 months.

  3. the real Terry says:

    Mr. Burt, all right thinking people agree that the forming of unions back in the day was a good thing. However how long has it been since either the BIU or the BPSU have done anything to benefit its membership. In 2009 the BIU paid its executive $3.1 million but only paid $22000.00 to the membership, hardly a benefit. Then Mr. Hayward before he was even elected decided his position should be full time and then once he was in gave himself, without a vote by the membership, a very generous 44% salary increase as well as for a time doing the treasurer’s job as well. I don’t think so

  4. Comfortably numb says:

    One and the same, no surprise there.

  5. Sage says:

    Don’t they usually schedule things on a Friday for the long weekend??

  6. Aware says:

    The Unions did sterling work in the past and their many achievements are now embedded in our laws. Can we look forward and not back in considering the best way for them to contribute to Bermuda going forward? Surely the time for constant opposition is no longer needed.

    • Glowstick Tracker says:

      I would agree that many of our laws and benefits in many countries are the result of union efforts. That being said this is not a get out jail free card to do all and sundry and claim it is for the workers benefit. While many unions have evolved and are more partners in the process many , too many times some unions still think we are in the 70s and only noise emotions and rage is needed to negotiate or resolve issues. A strategic well thought out plan with logic and focus on a successful solution that ALL parties can accept is better and longer lasting than a threat and strike. A productive motivated worker that is compensated fairly results in happy work force and happy employer.

  7. FrankTalk says:

    4th Paragraph is missing a bit of detail. It should start:

    “…May Day was chosen as the date for International Workers’ Day by the Socialists and Communists from the organisation known as Socialist International in order to commemorate…”

    Labour Parties (and Labour Unions) stopped being socialist organisations a long time ago…

    New Labour (UK) was born in 1996….

  8. Rasta says:

    I’m going go cart racing.

  9. Sandgrownan says:

    “Right to assembly is punished”??

    What a disingenuous, lying poor excuse for a leader.

  10. aceboy says:

    A day of persecution? Please….

    I assume there will be disruptions to public transportation AGAIN as a result. Tell me again how I have benefitted from the labour struggle?

    This is electioneering, not a celebration of gains in workers rights. Blatant electioneering.

  11. Realist says:

    Let’s be clear. The present leadership of both Unions are an embarrassment to Bermuda and all Bermudians. The Membership needs to replace them with forward thinking Bermudians who will set an example of real leadership and help Union Members with educational programs, scholarships etc. The Union Leadership needs to join the real world by enabling their Members and not keeping membership chained to the past.

  12. Rhonnda Oliver says:

    While I respect the history of unions and all they have done for workers worldwide, including locally, I wish that the local unions today reflected that history of supporting the workers instead of being a politically biased organisation determined to bully both businesses and the government while refusing to stick to their promises.

    As for the right of assembly being disregarded and punished. No right is being disregarded, no one is being punished for assembling. People are being held responsible for breaking a reasonable law.

  13. hmmm says:

    The Haymarket reference is to something that happened in the year 1886.

    “As a captain ordered the meeting to disperse, and the speaker cried out that it was a peaceable gathering, a bomb exploded in the police ranks. It wounded 67 policemen, of whom seven died. The police opened fire, killing several men and wounding 200, and the Haymarket Tragedy became a part of U. S. history.” (Time) …. 1886…back in those days the police were a very different body. Sounds like a very sad and tragic affair that could have been avoided if someone hadn’t exploded a bomb in the police ranks.

  14. Long Bay Trading Co. says:

    Rhonnda Oliver – totally agreed. Well said.
    More Labour issues NO politics.
    STOP with being the PLP mouth piece.
    Accountability and Responsibility. Key.

  15. Ocelot says:

    I thought the PLP and unions were all the same now? Maybe they just noticed themselves.