BIU President: ‘There Are Double Standards’

April 16, 2021

[Updated] There are “inconsistencies” in the guidelines during our lockdown, BIU President Chris Furbert said today, adding that there are ”double standards being practiced” with certain big businesses being granted exemptions, while small Bermudian businesses are not allowed to operate.

BIU President Chris Furbert said, “As President of the Bermuda Industrial Union [BIU] I feel compelled to issue a public statement in light of the inconsistencies in the application of policy rules and guidelines that are occurring during our lockdown.

“It would appear that there are double standards being practiced in terms of rules being applied for certain big businesses who are being granted exemptions while small Bermudian businesses such as those who sell produce, fishermen, farmers etc; are not allowed to operate under the lockdown provisions and this is not right.

“If this was the OBA Government that were making these kind of inconsistent decisions and practicing double standards that discriminated against Bermudians, it would have sparked an island wide outcry against them for those decisions that could have even led to an island wide protest.

“During the Pandemic over the past 12 months, we have had one large demonstration and that was for Black Lives Matter when thousands of people were in the streets in support of that demonstration.

“I would remind you that the results of the General Election held on October 1, 2020 where the people of Bermuda entrusted through their vote the PLP Government the ability to continue as the Government. The voters provided them with an even bigger mandate of 30 seats to the OBA’s 6 seats.

“In view of this it is incumbent for the PLP back bench to understand while they are members of the PLP Party to remember that their obligation is first and foremost to the people who elected them.

“They were elected by the people of Bermuda to represent the will of the people and as such are bound by the electoral social contract to honor that trust, by holding their Cabinet colleagues accountable for those inconsistencies and discriminatory double standards.

“I would like to remind the PLP Government who put them in power. Governments serve at the pleasure of the people, so they should honor and respect that trust which the people have given to them.

“Please do not forget the Bermudian People when you are making your decisions that will ultimately affect the lives, health, safety, well-being and future of the people of Bermuda.”

Update 10.53pm: A Government spokesperson said, “The Regulations  for the Stay at Home Order always allowed for Licensed Fishermen and Registered Commercial Farmers to tend to their farms and to fish. On Thursday evening the Deputy Premier, the Hon. Walter Roban, JP, MP, announced measures to allow them to sell their goods at roadside stalls under specific permission.

“The last week has been difficult with more Bermudian lives lost to Covid-19 and the economic pain of the very necessary Stay at Home Order. Despite the challenges, the Government remains focussed on its mission: keeping Bermudians safe while rebuilding Bermuda’s economy.

“The Government trusts that the Bermuda Industrial Union will be a productive partner in that effort given the number of BIU members who rely on a strong tourism industry for their livelihoods.”

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Comments (17)

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  1. SMH says:

    Really, he is complaining about double standards? Someone needs to look in a mirror.

    • kevin says:

      He is the description of DOUBLE STANDARD
      BIU members are you getting your moneys worth
      Furby must be making $150k a year are you getting your moneys worth

  2. Vortex says:

    “I would like to remind the PLP Government who put them in power“

    That is irrelevant Furball. The Government are there to represent us all.

    It is a low bar for the PLP though when loyalist Furball is chirping. It says something about how good has turned to bad pretty quickly. Complacent Burt?

  3. Say It Again says:

    I am surprised at Mr. Furbert’s statement as I personally didn’t think he would say anything. However I am extremely happy and in support of his remarks.

    This double standard is not at acceptable.

    • wahoo says:

      So when is a “double standard” acceptable? In your opinion of course.

  4. Gina says:

    What inconsistencies? Can you be more specific Chris?

  5. Notusuallyafan says:

    Not always (read: rarely) a fan of Furbert, but he’s hit the nail on the head here.

    I think that regardless of political view/allegiance, skin tone, religious beliefs, etc. everyone should be able to see the clear hypocrisy, double standards and outright lack of critical thought or planning being implemented by the current Government.

    It is pleasing to see the President of the BIU, a PLP stronghold itself historically, standing up for the people who are being blatantly ignored, or worse, purposely hindered even though it goes against the current party who is usually their ally, in broad terms at least.

    It is time for the PLP to wake up and remember that they got such a significant victory on the back of great praise by many for their handling of the initial portion of this pandemic, along with a laughably weak opposition, but they risk throwing all of that away and giving their rivals the momentum with the way they’ve handled things the last few weeks should this continue to be the norm.

    We read the news each day and see things such as $3,000 fines for people who were fixing burst water lines that would have flooded their business and were thus out an hour after curfew, yet we also open our phones to see videos of parties of 30-100+ people and are told nonsense like ‘couldn’t find the organizers’ or ‘punishment for that will be like a traffic ticket’.

    Just remember when you next hear about 30 people out de park being forced to disperse that they won’t be fined, but you most certainly will be if you ride your bicycle, or dare to try to purchase a fresh carrot from a local farmer trying to feed is family.

    • Agreed! says:

      I was dumbfounded to read that two people were fined for what I felt was an emergency. I am a professional and someone who obeys the laws of the land regardless of whether I agree or not and I would have done the exact same thing. It was an emergency! Why were they even brought to the courts!!! Then for the good Magistrate, for whom normally am a fan to fine them both was absurd! Honestly, the ruling needs to be reversed! They weren’t out partying they were saving their business and the place of employment for many. They should have been assisted, applauded ….. not charged and fined.

      Now the partiers, the botanical garden crew of in excess of 100, throw them in the slammer. Oh no, can’t do that, we can’t upset that group. Interesting how it never surfaced who they were!!!

    • Loquat tree says:

      Certainly appear to be some double standards!!

  6. Moving forward together says:

    Typical union comment as all they ever think about is their little portion of the world. There is a bigger issue here and the government are doing extremely well in handling this pandemic.

    Furbert forgets that once a government is elected it is elected to work for all the people not “first and foremost for those who elected them”

    This is the usual coded way of saying for black Bermudians. We need to move past this old antiquated way of thinking. Unions hold us back but maybe that is what Furbert needs!!

  7. Andrew says:

    I agree with Mr. Furbert, but he must resign. How can he tell the paper that if the OBA put us in an unexplained lock down, that everyone would be kicking up and he would have to start to complain. So he’s confessing who he has taken sides with and shows his bias. A union leader in bed with the political party that is in power isn’t a “union leader”, he’s a MUPPET!

  8. Andrew says:

    Can’t believe I finally agree with Mr. Furbert. Only thing is he doesn’t have the balls to go against the party he supports.

    Since he’s agreed to these ” double standards ” why isn’t there any fuss from his own union members. Lockdown ends Tuesday, maybe a social distant protest is needed since this Union Leader won’t do so against his own party. He too needs to resign!

    • Real Deal says:

      you are very clueless for how unions work. a union is not a dictatorship. it works similarly to how the police service works. in order for actions to take place call have to come from the public.
      so in order for actions to take place in a union the spark has to take place in the union membership chain reacting from member to member until their is an majority and it becomes an objective that the leadership takes up on their behave from that mandate. this mechanize prevents leadership from influencing membership and pushing their own personal agendas. everything comes from principles that membership has agreed on as a whole.

      I am not even in a union however i have something called common sense
      what he is saying is the membership is unhappy with double standard looking decisions from the Gov but they are shying away from protesting because they feel this gov will do the right thing.

      i understand the Gov’s perspectives as well. to the untrained eye it may seem like that the gov is acting in a double standard type way and indirectly they are but not intentionally

      it is all due imbalance that already exist. they are trying to make easiest play with cards that are there in this emergency.

      long story short it is easier for gov to setup safety measures using the bigger establish markets, man power wise and planing and oversight.

      if all selling spots opened it would be harder implement safety measures therefor making the stay at home useless and most likely longer due to less ability to contain the spread.

      but its not impossible to come up with something though probably harder too on such short notice

  9. Let's Keep It Real says:

    Where is the People’s Campaign rally criers! Oops! one of their main ringleaders sits in the cabinet!

    • Unbelievable says:

      The biggest disappointment is all of this is the People’s Campaign. They only existed from Dec 2012 until July 2017. They’re just an extension of this new oligarchy Bermuda finds itself in.

  10. Southampton says:

    For once Furbert is making sense.
    He must have taken a few smart pills.

  11. Crapola says:

    this mouthpiece obviously doesn’t have a mirror