Ottiwell Simmons On BELCO & Union Matter

October 22, 2018

[Written by Don Burgess]

Former BIU President Ottiwell Simmons said in a public statement “it was by far time now that BELCO management yields to the rights of the working-class people of this country.”

He says this harkens back to the 1965 dispute between BELCO management and the workers.

The workers of the Electricity Supply Trade Union [ESTU] were issued a court order to return to work after they voted to withdraw labour last Friday.

The ESTU had made several demands in response to various matters including a series of people being let go at BELCO over the past two months.

Mr Simmons said the workers are proving an essential service. “That means it is essential to all the people of Bermuda and all the people are entitled to it. The management of BELCO must not be seen to be throwing people out of work when the people are capable of working, and the company needs the workers.”

Mr Simmons said he was “100% in favour of the Union that is fighting for the rights of the workers at BELCO.”

On Saturday, Premier David Burt stepped in to help mediate the dispute so as of Monday all operations at BELCO should return to normal for customers.

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Comments (16)

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  1. BDAGIRL says:

    BELCO wants to cut costs so they are terminating Bermudians, the Shareholders still want their huge dividend checks. The permit workers must go first if you want to cut costs BELCO

    • George says:

      You must live in the past. Those huge dividend checks were slashed years ago.

    • Chris N says:

      If the dividend checks are so ‘huge’, why are the shares only trading at $17? Furthermore, why do you not buy some shares if they are so fantastically valuable?

  2. inna says:

    Bro Ottie- can you please explain to the other 95% of the population what “rights” are being disrespected by the board at Ascendant??

    Other than the fact that 4 senior management workers left the company a few weeks ago, 2 of them unionized, a lot of Bermudians are in the dark!!

  3. wahoo says:

    With all due respect you cannot keep equating present day to 55 years ago.

  4. Mark says:

    Rolling out the dinosaurs now. Still an illegal strike Bruther O.

    • And because of this well respected man, we now can enjoy the benefits which most of us take for granted.
      Bro Ottie is an icon in the Caribbean and aroud the world for his loyalty and contributions in Labour relations.
      But @$$#@£€$ like you wouldnt understand.

      • sandgrownan says:

        Who is he to say those four are required by the company? If they were required, they’d still be there. That’s wha’s so stupid about all of this, the narrative put forward is that this is some evil, dastardly plot to displace Bermudians.

        It’s not – it’s about economics.

        His opinion is, therefore, utterly irrelevant.

      • Mark says:

        I understand only to well how backwards looking Koolaid drinkers like you will never allow this country to move forward.

  5. sandgrownan says:

    “He says this harkens back to the 1965 dispute between BELCO management and the workers.”

    No. It. Doesn’t.

  6. VinceD says:

    History always repeats itself Always!

  7. Question says:

    Belco is a monopoly. I want to see it managed as efficiently as possible so that my electricity bill is not higher than it has to be. I want to see Belco terminating inefficient employees. Why aren’t my rights as a consumer being protected? Do Belco employees think they have a guaranteed job for life?

  8. aceboy says:

    Did anyone mention to Ottiwell that this is all about four execs who got retirement and redundancy packages? This has NOTHING to do with workers or workers rights.

    The whole thing is a power play and a stupid dangerous one at that!

  9. Good morning, I’m been made 2 understand that management is the cost of light bill 2 be so high. Government need 2 check this out & prove 2 them why they need 2 raise the bill. We shouldn’t have 2 be paying fuel charges . They have been taken advantage of the people of Bermuda 2 long. There books needs 2 be checked & the big profit they make each year 4 them & there shareholders.

  10. concern_bda says:

    It would appear that the Board at Ascendant are using the Bermudian workers as pawns in their chess game.

    When statements such as: “The letter from the Chairman, Mr. Durhager JP, also states ‘It is unknown if the Government will grant relief on the $30 million we pay in fuel taxes and duty so that leaves labour as the only relevant variable cost that can be reduced.”

    I believe the ESTU are justified in their actions.