Impact on Public Services Minister of Labour’s Remarks

Monday, August 30th, 2021

The process of amending the labour legislation began with ensuring we put laws in place that support the rights of workers. 

This action to create maximum disruption in order to force compliance from the Government, is unlawful and designed to negatively impact the people of Bermuda. 

Such tactics should never be used to promote a position aimed at stripping rights away from workers.

The Government acknowledges that there is fear from the Unions that some employers will try to manipulate the process of cancellation of certificate for their benefit.

The Government will make every effort to ensure that employers ’ intervention in the process is limited, and will nullify the process if an employer has had any involvement.

The Government will not be amending the law as it pertains to who gets to participate in a Government administered decertification ballot. 

The Government’s position has been made clear, any worker who has regular contributions deducted from their pay should have the right to vote in a ballot whether they are a union member or non-member.

It bears repeating that only current members or former members of a Union can comprise the 35% of the workforce that can actually initiate a decertification ballot. 

This is a protection for the Union.

Contrary to what has been articulated, the Government has metwith the BIU on several occasions since the legislation was debated and approved by the legislature in the House of Assembly in December. 

Up until the BIU’s most recent set of press conferences there has been no communication of collaboration or compromise in the BIU’s position. 

As a former leader of a trade union, I have always and will continue to support the principle aims of Unionism and the promotion of workers’ rights. 

That position is clearly demonstrated by the work that has been done in the Ministry of Labour since I assumed the Office of Minister.

Any notion that the Government no longer supports labour orthe workers of this country lacks merit.  

However, the approach to industrial relations needs to shift, a concerted effort is required to change the current culture of operating. 

It will not be easy, however, a shift in paradigm is critical for us to get the Country back on a sustainable recovery path.

As it pertains to my position as Minister of Labour, I have no intention to resign, there is plenty of work to be done and I am committed to working on behalf of the People of Bermuda. I thank all those in the Public who have sent me messages of support and words of encouragement.