Acting Premier On Planned Work Stoppage

August 29, 2021 | 15 Comments

“The next two days will hurt those who can least afford it,” said Acting Premier Walter Roban on the eve of a planned two day work stoppage by some members of the Bermuda Industrial Union [BIU].

“Families will be under more pressure, working women and men will have added stress and businesses will be faced with even more uncertainty. All of this at a time when we are doing our utmost to get people back to work, to move beyond the pandemic which has had a devastating impact on everyone’s finances and personal well-being.”

The Acting Premier continued: “I cannot understand how the Bermuda Industrial Union leadership is so determined to remove workplace rights from workers. The Government remains firm in its position, a principled position, that preserves rights for all workers, and has no intention to amend the legislation.”

“The Union’s original position was that only Union members should be able to participate in workplace ballots, however that position appears to have shifted. Now, the Union supports non-members who pay 100% of their salary deductions to the union participating in a ballot.”

“Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of all of this is the totally false assertion that the Government no longer supports labour and is out to destroy the Unions. The facts tell the story and the truth is that this Government has delivered for and continues to lift up working men and women every day in real and tangible ways:

  • “The new Labor Code that came into effect on June 1st, increases workers benefits and workplace protections, and yes it also strengthens Bermuda’s Unions and their ability to organize labour.
  • “Throughout the pandemic the Government has supported workers by providing over $70 million in unemployment benefits to help individuals meet their basic needs of food, housing and medical care.
  • “It also cannot be forgotten that the Government paid over $10 million to ensure redundant Fairmont Southampton Princess workers received redundancy payments.
  • “Through the Department of Workforce Development, the Government continues to service unemployed workers, has increased on the job- training and apprentice opportunities, and continues to partner with industry to get Bermudians back to work.
  • “Additionally, the Government has expanded the list of closed job categories to create workplace opportunities for Bermudian workers.

“Despite the work that has been done thus far, there is still much more that needs to done. The Government will continue to support the workers of Bermuda and will be unwavering in our commitment to improving the Bermudian economy,” Minister Roban concluded.

The BIU has called for their non essential worker members to gather at Union Square at 8am tomorrow [Aug 30].

The exact impact on services tomorrow is not clear at this time, and in past circumstances, we generally find out on the actual morning of the work stoppage what services are impacted and we will do our best to provide updates as able.

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Comments (15)

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  1. Dunn juice says:

    Burt ran off…

  2. Ringmaster says:

    If as the PLP says this is illegal, why haven’t they sought an injunction, or what penalties will they be seeking to protect taxpayers?

    Answers on postage stamp – nothing.

  3. Stevie says:

    I was in Marketplace Hamilton around 5.30 pm today. The fresh produce was pretty thin on the ground, and the dairy and juice sections were not too far behind. I’ll be curious to see how soon they fill up again this week. I’m hopeful that it is as quick usual and the stevedores are the first to call time on Furbert.

  4. Interesting Fact says:

    If you care so much about unions then why are there several unionized departments that have not had a single pay raise in over 10 years? And why are they asked not to bring up pay raises before negotiations even start?

    I guess this is progress in your world.

    Unions have to unite. It’s about all of us.

    • Question says:

      They get around the pay rise thing by giving them all ‘merit raises’. That’s a pay rise.

    • WillSee says:

      Sure NO One has had any substantial pay raises in a while but they have not been laid off either.

  5. Really says:

    “We are doing our utmost to get people back to work”.

    Incorrect. You know of many Bermudians that you and your Labour Minister have ignored and allowed nonBermudians to displace them.

    Labour government. I think not. F&F only

  6. Joe Bloggs says:

    “The Union’s original position was that only Union members should be able to participate in workplace ballots, however that position appears to have shifted. Now, the Union supports non-members who pay 100% of their salary deductions to the union participating in a ballot.”

    How interesting. Minister Roban says it all about money where Premier Burt says its all about internal PLP political power (https://bernews.com/2021/08/premier-david-burt-responds-biu/).

    Which is it please?

  7. Sy says:

    Yes the hole island needs to stand up for their rights not just the union. This also includes businesses and business owners. This is about how we choose to live in the future not just now. Our very existence as human beings will be over, if we don’t take a stand to tyranny that government is imposing on us then hen we will never have a life.

    Think about other countries fighting for their right for freedom and their right to make choices in their life and to have a free mind to think for themselves.

    Australia is being forced into submission to obey a law that is not for them. Do you want that to happen here?

    THINK!!!!!!!!!

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      “This is about how we choose to live in the future not just now.”

      That ship sailed away over a decade ago when the PLP Government borrowed billions of dollars to give away rather than live within its means

  8. wing nut says:

    i see Ernie, where’s Burt.

  9. Where did they get the money says:

    So the government wants to take credit for the money they have paid out for this and that but ask yourself this, where did they get the money? Every single time the government has asked us to take a loss in pay for the sake of the island we have obliged them! 10% cut, nothing contributed by government into the pension fund and overtime for straight time was the last one we gave them, even though others said no we came through for them. We have done furlough, we have done the o/t for straight time, we have sacrificed their contributions in the pension, we have not had a raise in years and we have done all of that time and time again. To the point I done the math, people complain that we got paid during the pandemic lockdown for 12 weeks but guess what they took it all back plus more through the 10% cut and no pension contributions. Not to mention that we could not claim any money from our pension. While the private sector had the option to withdraw up to $12000. So we took the biggest sacrifice and it goes unnoticed. Now they are hoping to divide us, well United we stand and divided we fall, and we ain’t falling for that!!!

  10. Realest talk says:

    Unions, I hope you see what your true worth is now. It is universally stated that “no good deed goes unpunished”. You where useful for creating parliamentary barricades and your vote but now you are just surplus. Take heed., you are all stronger in numbers. It’s only a matter of time before your sister unions are targeted. Look at history, it is the best teacher. United you stand and divided you will fall. The rules of divide and conquer are still valid today.

    You need strong opposition. You have to have strong opposition or we will become a dictatorship. Please open your eyes, we are being played.

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