Electricity Union: ‘Severity Cannot Be Ignored’

October 20, 2018

The ESTU “exhausted all possible avenues in coming to a beneficial solution for all parties involved in this dispute but the response received has placed us into a corner with no other option but to continue with the withdrawal of labour,” the Electricity Supply Trade Union [ESTU] said this evening.

This follows after the Ascendant Group obtained a Supreme Court order  directing ESTU members “to return to their full employment effective immediately” after workers decided to withdraw labour on Friday.

A statement from the Union said, “We the E.S.T.U have exhausted all possible avenues in coming to a beneficial solution for all parties involved in this dispute but the response received has placed us into a corner with no other option but to continue with the withdrawal of labour. We are aware of the injunction served, but the severity of this issue is one which cannot be ignored.

“We feel compelled to inform the public of the great steps taken by the E.S.T.U. to ensure the stability of the island. We returned to the company after a membership meeting at B.I.U. on October 19, 2018 to find B.E.L.C.O abandoned by management. We stayed on to ensure the continued supply of electricity to the island.

“We then had a conversation with the board of directors where we were made to believe an agreement beneficial to both parties would be made and something in writing would be provided by the Board. In a further show of good faith members of the E.S.T.U. went to work to ensure stable supply or power throughout the night and all day today.

“This show of good faith has been pushed backed by the board today for reasons that continue to remain unclear, especially when every effort to work with the company has been exhausted to the extreme. We cannot continue in this unenviable position any further and would like to keep the public notified as best we can and to take all precautions as necessary for possible outages.

“The demands of the E.S.T.U on Friday October 19, 2018 were for the removal of Sean Durfy as CEO of B.E.L.C.O and Ascendant as well as removal from the board of directors along with the removal of Robert Shaeffer as CFO immediately. As a result of conversations with the board and our willingness to work together that mandate has changed to the following;

“The Board will take steps to ensure that the current Chief Executive Officer [CEO] Mr Sean Durfy’s, position and responsibilities within AGL are reviewed with a view to the Board removing him from having any involvement in the management of the day-to-day operations of BELCO and with a view to his tenure with AGL coming to an end.

“As long as the company is unwilling to respond in a meaningful way we feel we have no other alternative.”

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Comments (33)

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  1. Onion Juice says:

    What Bermudians need to realize is that every Great Movement required SACRIFICE.
    Our Forefathers showed us that, thats the reason why we enjoy a 2 day Holiday for Cup Match, Insurance, maternity leave, compasionate leave, a living wage, a lunch hour and any other benefit that we enjoy.
    Some people think that employers woke up one morning and said “I”ll be nice to my workers and give them a good wage and benefits, NOOOOOOO.
    People Protested and Sacrificed and guess what, we will have to do the same thing to maintain what was fought for us to enjoy.
    It takes a Revolution to make a Solution

    • 2 Bermudas says:

      De union going to strike every time a person decides to put a solar panel on their roof so that these guys can keep their jowbs?!?! Have another swig of de titty milk!! Ha ha ha!!

    • Question says:

      This isn’t a ‘great movement’. It’s a bunch of whiners. What they’re doing is illegal.

      • Bda stand up says:

        Stfu go back home simple. We can’t let no Foriegners try and force out Bermudians. Whiners ? Guess u haven’t read the articles or u don’t care about the people because majority are black.

    • Typical says:

      Spoken like someone that has never started a business or ever owned anything. His hand has been out for a pay cheque each week and never contributed to the growth or betterment of Bermuda. “Give me more, I deserve it”
      Get off you butt and try and actually start something and see how difficult it is. Then you have the right to speak. Otherwise, you have zero credibility in my opinion.

    • Mark says:

      And it takes idiots like you and the illegal strikers to send us to Third World status. Stock up on Pedigree twerp.

  2. ConcernedBermudian says:

    This is absolute bs. I support unions but I do NOT support this action. You are talking complete lies ESTU. Lies about you guys bringing stability to the island, you are a disgrace. How dare you demand the CEO and the CFO to resign just because you don’t like it. You can’t do that. This whole idea of the members ‘showing good faith’ is laughable. You have illegally gone on strike for what, just because you don’t like a foreigner as your CEO. Grow up and get back to work. I do not support this at all and neither does the rest of Bermuda. GET BACK TO WORK.

    • Street Smart says:

      Concerned Bermudian? Now there’s a contradiction in terms!!

    • Also a concerned Bermudian says:

      Careful concerned Bermudian with whom you are calling a liar. Are you really a Bermudian or a puppet? Get the facts, ask if the CEO wanted PRC? Ask a few questions. As a shareholder, I will be asking some questions of the Board at the next shareholders meeting, that includes the Bermudian and Non-Bermudian Directors. Oh, but the Non-Bermudian Directors will probably not be on Island.

  3. 2 Bermudas says:

    Union backing down already. Belco has an injunction in their hand so they ain’t gotta do nuffin for you!! Titty milk got de union shook!! Ha ha ha!!

  4. Onion says:

    So we have an illegal strike that is in voilation of the CBA.

    This won’t end well.

  5. It’s Gonna Cost You says:

    Should Ascendant actually cave on the issue of replacing senior management, the cost of saying goodbye to these two leaders is going to be huge. Once that settlement occurs, Ascendant will need to make even deeper payroll cuts just to get back to where they are today. No one will touch a senior job in Bermuda again after this fiasco.

    • sandgrownan says:

      Exactly. And of course, the reality is obscured by ignorance.

  6. Street Smart says:

    Oh boy! What a mess! And the solution is simple. REMOVE Mr. Durfy and Mr. Shaeffer! b.e.l.co’s BERMUDIAN board of directors should be ashamed of themselves for displacing qualified BERMUDIANS! My question is, at the risk of sounding xenophobic, why encourage young BERMUDIANS to seek higher education, if we are going to continue to ignore them in lieu of expats.

    We cannot have BERMUDIAN parents, spending hard earned money on higher education, if the efforts are to be thwarted by the likes of people who plain just do not care of welfare of BERMUDIANS!

    Why again spend hard earned taxpayer funds on public education, if there is no future for BERMUDIANS OF ANY COLOR!! This does not make any kind of logical sense!

    GET RID OF sean durfy and robert sheafer!!!!

    • Question says:

      Entitlement. Racism. Xenophobia. Stupidity. It’s all there.

    • 2 Bermudas says:

      Errrrrmmmm, just because you have a degree doesn’t entitle you to become CEO. That may just be enough to get you in the door these days. Titty milk ain’t taught you nuffin bout de real world?!?! Ha ha ha!! Wake up!!

    • Mark says:

      Then get rid of you as well cause you just waster the air we breathe.

  7. Belco Please Get To Work says:

    . Anytime Belco wasn’t able to get the electricity restored within a timely manner after a storm all the people protesting would be the first to complain about no power. Get on with your dispute and leave my electricity alone .

  8. Ironic says:

    So let’s be clear what the statement really says:

    We are aware of our illegal actions and the direction from the highest court of the land, but we don’t care because our feelings are hurt.

    We are telling everyone we care about the country because, after being absent en masse for several hours of paid work on October 19th and risking the electrical stability of the entire country, we went back to do the bare minimum at the job we are paid to do.

    We then complained to the board of the company we work for, and in a sign of good faith we yet again went back to do the bare minimum at the job we are paid to do.

    We are upset that nobody seems to care about us when we are acting like children and breaking the law.

    Our original ridiculous demands have now been lowered to slightly less ridiculous yet still completely unrealistic demands.

    Since yet again nobody with their own mind or ability to reason agrees with us, we are again going to play hookey and we hope that fixes everything. Because we really care about the country.

  9. Jt says:

    Fine them. They’re willfully breaking the law. Does this government support lawlessness?

  10. sandgrownan says:

    So a couple of observations here…

    1. Massive opportunity for Bitcoin Dave to show some leadership and be the great uniter rather than the empty suit he has hitherto proven to be.

    2. What of Belco? The fact remains, it employs too many staff, it it is too expensive to produce power and is inefficient. Employees need to deliver, and and be accountable. If Durfy leaves, Bermudian or not, his replacement will follow the same path. The unions, and by extension the PLP, need to be honest with their members and the public about that fact.

    Worse however, is the message being sent to the outside world. We desperately need businesses, job creators, feet on the ground. Government supported action by the union is driving the nails further in to the coffin.

  11. Dante says:

    The headline should read “The severity of the ignorance of the ESTU should not be ignored”. Please advertise how much these union members took home last year. This is a public traded company. Nothing but a bunch of children making noise. We are sick of paying high bills for your trash service right now. This is not a union issue. Please comply with the LAW and return your normal service and take your big $SS paychecks to the bank and keep ripping us off. Seriously? You would never get a job anywhere else making the money you make with your education.

  12. Merc says:

    Everybody thats made a statement on this issue does not have a clue whats going on here this started with the closure of Bda, Gas so some of you should keep quiet if you dont kno the real picture because its worse then any of you no a former worker thats got connections be wareall this is about replacing Certified Bermudians with qualifications with Canadians he wants to bring in is Rubbish whats the sense of going Overseas to Train for just dont make sense had local CEO”s before never had problems like this

  13. Blankerchief says:

    Shut it down…

  14. Dave says:

    Publish the take home pay of the ESTU executive members last year and see how sympathetic everyone is of what BELCO has been paying these idiividuals. You would be shocked! I’m not hating. Just understand what those who have been given opportunities and training to serve BELCO are now doing to their own company.

  15. frank says:

    will somebody explain to the president of the ESTU what the court injunction means and what powers the minister of labour has to order them also back to work
    this union has no clue what they are doing and no one is giving them correct advise.
    how the hell do you go on strike for a case that does not directly involve one of your members are you stupid or just a little slow

  16. BermieBorn says:

    Hopefully the ETSU leadership applies significantly better logic and problem solving skills in their professional lives than they do in drafting press releases. Their attempts to hide what is basically a ransom note and utter failure to follow the law and their CBA are juvenile and regressive.

  17. Stevie says:

    Not a union matter. The 4 who left weren’t in the union. Illegal strike.

  18. David says:

    Must be quaking in his boots. All the folks he got to sign MOUs for Fintech must be calling asking him if BERMUDA really is capable of hosting a FinTech platform.

    I am Bermudian and I do not think Durfie should go anywhere.

    All he is to this group is Michael Fahy version 2.

    We all have a say in how this country is run not just the Unions.

    Go back to work like the day of us will. Well this of us St hat don’t rely I. Public transport.

    What a laughable lot!

  19. cpm says:

    Take the union assets