‘BELCO Cannot Guarantee Full Electricity Supply’

October 19, 2018

[Updated] “Because of the lack of manpower, and in order to ensure we can operate the plant safely, BELCO cannot guarantee full electricity supply to the island,” the company said today.

This follows after workers decided earlier today to withdraw labour, with ESTU President Donald Lottimore saying, “Our membership took a vote and as of right now, the work-to-rule has been halted and we are now withdrawing our labour, in order to make sure that the membership’s demands are met.” When asked were they effectively on a strike, Mr Lottimore replied, “Yes, we are.”

Video of the ESTU press briefing earlier today

Am Ascendant spokesperson said, “Ascendant Group Limited is, this afternoon, in receipt of a letter from the Electricity Supply Trade Union [ESTU] which states that the members have withdrawn their labour.

“This has an immediate impact on the operations of BELCO’s system. Because of the lack of manpower, and in order to ensure we can operate the plant safely, BELCO cannot guarantee full electricity supply to the island.

“In the case of outages, we will endeavor to maintain electricity supply to the essential services. As the industrial action continues throughout the day, our ability to maintain a reliable electricity supply is diminished and there is an increased likelihood of widespread outages.

“Medical Priority Customers should consider attending the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital to ensure they have access to the required care and resources.”

Update 6.18pm: An Ascendant spokesperson said, “Ascendant Group Limited this afternoon obtained an order from the Supreme Court directing members of the Electricity Supply Trade Union [ESTU] to return to their full employment effective immediately.

“The order states that the ESTU ‘shall be restrained from contravening the Labour Relations Act 1975 by means of a strike or withdrawal of labour or any irregular industrial action short of strike which shall include picketing or any work to rule.’

“It is expected that ESTU members will comply with the order and return to work with immediate effect and normal operations will resume,” added the spokesperson from Ascendant, which is the parent company of BELCO.

You can follow live updates with all statements, photos and videos covering the matter here.

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Comments (50)

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  1. watching says:

    And here comes Belco with the scare tactics as they try to make the workers the enemy.

    • huh says:

      they are

    • wahoo says:

      Well the union are not acting in our best interest here. It is an illegal strike, people will be greatly inconvenienced, government is now in the awkward position of having to intervene and send them back to work…..you could go on (or I could). The point is this is a ridiculous display and is an embarrassment to Bermuda and Bermudians. For a group that are supposed to be upset they looked like they were in party mode when I drove by earlier.

      Fintec only exists in some MOUs and they will cancel asap if we cannot guarantee electricity.

    • BermieBorn says:

      Did BELCO withdraw their labour? No.

  2. aceboy says:

    Illegal strike.

    • Onion Juice says:

      Hey @$$#@£€, this is serious and the people are tired being held hostage by those who have economic authority who rule with an iron fist.
      We see de same thing with de Saudi Prince who seems to be untouchable in de disapperance of de reporter.
      It was illigal to run away as a slave on de plantations and they couldve got killed, but they still tried.

      • sandgrownan says:

        OK, I’ll bite…..maybe the four were simply not required anymore, or crap at their jobs…

        You can’t on the one hand complain about electricity rates and then on the other complain that the company is taking steps to be more efficient.

        • Onion Juice says:

          How many times have we heard companies taking steps to being more efficient, then find out that the positions are filled with friends and family.
          This S#!+ has been going on too long in Bermuda.
          Ya pissing on my head and telling me its raining.

      • Breast fed says:

        Now repeat all that garbage in English

        • Toodle-oo says:

          Never ! !
          Speaking English is a carryover from the oligarch colonialist days of privilege and de 400 years of local slavery !

      • Wahoo says:

        You are ill equipped to comment on anything that requires clear thinking.

      • Hmmm says:

        OJ no matter how much you swear… the truth is the truth… it’s an illegal strike… all you do is make yourself look stupid!!

      • aceboy says:

        Hey moron, I am one of “the people”.

        This is all a bunch of drama all around. Workers striking on behalf of the silent execs?

        Hope your power goes off first!

        • Really says:

          Small minds can’t think past what they see versus the truth. Get off your soap box and go see what these employees do to give you your creature comforts. Else, go off grid and stop your complaining as your are ignorant to the reality.

      • living in de past says:

        You on hyper stupid now ain’t you.

    • Breast fed says:

      Fire them all. They wont tell me who I’m hiring or firing.

  3. Edison says:

    Hopefully the Minister Of Home Affairs will declare BELCO an essential service, which it is.

  4. sandgrownan says:

    tick tock….decreased business confidence…tick tock…declining population…tick tock…huge debt…tick tock…xenophobic government…tick tock…unaffordable healthcare…tick tock…unions bullying business….tick tock…missing Premier…tick tock….Dept of Immigration on a go slow……..

    • Breast fed says:

      Tick tock? Bermuda exploded 20 years ago

      • legalgal says:

        Would the last person to leave please switch off the lights. O hold on…

  5. voltage says:

    BELCO Brinkmanship – never a good sign for all impacted by a failure to communicate in Bermuda…..it potentially lights a fuse that may not be put out easily.

  6. Enough says:

    This is illegal and should be stopped by our judicial system. There are rules of engagement when striking.

  7. spittal pond skink says:

    It’s very simple. You have a gripe, you follow the grievance procedure except in Bda.
    Our lovely union strike and strike illegally when ever they like.
    Oh and that noise you hear is any hope for this island going down the drain.

  8. Enough says:

    The 4 employees that are no longer employed, are not asking for their jobs back. This strike is someone else’s agenda.

  9. 441 says:

    You all act like BELCO goes on strike every day. None of you commenting know what the workers have to endure. Keep in mind these are the same workers who provide phenomenal service when WE need it no questions asked. How about we support them in their time of need opposed to bad mouthing the workers who have every right to exercise their RIGHT to stand up against the powers at be who obviously don’t give a flying one about their workers. If the did they wouldn’t be here right now.

    • Lone Wolf says:

      I have to agree with 441 on this one. I have a lot of respect for our BELCO workers. They work all kinds of crazy hours when our local yahoos keep knocking down poles with their expert driving skills. They go out in terrible weather conditions when storms knock out the power. And they rarely strike. So I’m with the employees on this one. Just give them what they’re asking for. I’m sure it’s not a bunch of insane requests.

      The BUS DRIVERS on the other hand ……. FIRE THEM ALL!!

    • Really says:

      What the workers have to endure? Really? What about everyone else who works in the private sector in non-unionised jobs? Please cry me a river…

      Everyone who works a job that is unionised is paid well, get double time and triple time. Working in the private sector you either work extra hours (without double/triple time) or you get fired and striking? Good luck with that. One way ticket to being unemployed.

  10. Paul says:

    People, get your flash lights and buckets of water ready…and because there will not be any TV,get some books to read..and those who do not have a gas stove,go and buy a bunch of junk food to carry you through these dark days that may happen,the people always suffer,our Premier needs to deal with this situation .

  11. Res says:

    Would the last person who leaves Bermuda please turn off de lights ,oh don’t worry Belco will do that !

  12. Truth Is says:

    Time to fly in the replacements.

    • Time Shall Tell says:

      That move would not end well at all for all parties involved.

      • sandgrownan says:

        Well it wouldn’t and would be massively incendiary. But, if the union don’t abide by the court order, it would be legal.

  13. Stevie says:

    Onion Juice. Like all you dumb plp/biu nit wits. Wake up. Where is plp to sort this out. Gone awol. Once again.

  14. Tom says:

    The collapse of Burtcoins Bermuda

    • Question says:

      They’re all in Miami paid for by us. They don’t give a crap.

    • Hair says:

      Burtcoins, tiddy milk, I still have my candles burning BELCO!!

  15. Imjustsaying says:

    So the many have to suffer for the few. Utter nonsense. When are we gonna get our act together? SMH!

  16. Imjustsaying says:

    So are we gonna get compensated for the time the power is off? That’s a big fat no!

    • Time Shall Tell says:

      Power off, your meter isn’t moving so you’re not getting charged… So what compensation?

      • Toodle-oo says:

        Lost perishable food items for a start. But still , it’ll never happen .

  17. Imjustsaying says:

    I know you don’t get charged while the power is off, I’m taking about the inconvenience. Because if you don’t pay your bill they will turn you off in a heart beat.

  18. Time Shall Tell says:

    All the eggs in one basket for such an essential service. Time to break the monopoly.

    • sandgrownan says:

      How on earth would Bermuda support multiple electricity providers. In couldn’t.

      And to what end? So unions can bully companies?

      • Time Shall Tell says:

        Cable & Wireless said the same thing years ago when they were charging over $1 a minute for long distance calls. Look at us today.