It is shocking that the president of the Bermuda Industrial Union, would attempt to undermine Bermuda’s future economic success and our credibility as a stable jurisdiction by threatening to disrupt The America’s Cup over a work permit issue that is unrelated to labour.
By doing so he is threatening to put at risk the livelihoods and job opportunities for a significant number of fellow Bermudians. He threatens to disrupt the growing resurgence among small businesses owned and operated by fellow Bermudians, including those in the retail, hospitality, construction and marine sectors, which are finally seeing positive economic growth after a severe economic recession. He is threatening to reverse Bermuda’s recent upsurge in tourism, disrespecting the efforts of so many fellow Bermudians who are playing an important role in making that happen.
Thousands of Bermudians and Bermuda taxpayers have invested time, money and energy to make the 2017 America’s Cup an event we can all be proud of. Over a thousand schoolchildren have benefitted from youth sailing and education programs in our schools. Major overseas investors have taken note of Bermuda’s progress and put their money into new hotel projects this island sorely needs.
Bermuda has already benefitted from extensive media coverage that has demonstrated the beauty and friendliness of our island home to people around the globe - people we hope to welcome one day as our visitors. We have received tremendous interest from sponsors who will utilize Bermuda’s facilities and services. The AC teams have relocated to Bermuda with their families, renting our homes, attending our schools, and using our many services. With the help of hundreds of Bermudian workers, we are on schedule and on budget for the delivery of the America’s Cup venue at Dockyard.
The America’s Cup should not be held hostage by a labour union president acting irresponsibly over an immigration issue.
The world is watching closely and any attempts to disrupt this highly visible, international event would set our island back immeasurably and put all of our futures at risk.