This communique is to provide clarity on the Bermuda Public Services Union (BPSU) on the issue regarding the proposed 2-day shutdown on August 30th and 31st by our sister Union, the Bermuda Industrial Union (BIU).
The BPSU acknowledges the fundamental rights of unions to protest on matters that they feel will have a detrimental impact on their membership. However, the BPSU will not be encouraging our members to participate in this shutdown because of our previously stated position on the decertification process.
The BPSU’s General Council and Executive Committee’s stance on decertification is clear and has been articulated via an email that was disseminated to the membership on June 18, 2021. To summarize, the Union acknowledges that permitting all workers in a bargaining unit to participate in both a ballot for certification and decertification is in keeping with ILO Convention C098 (the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining). This Convention clearly establishes that all workers have the right to select their workplace representative, and the BPSU supports this fundamental right.
In addition, the BPSU also recognises that there are checks and balances built into both the Trade Union and Labour Relations Consolidation Act 2021 and the supporting regulations to protect workers and Unions alike. It is with this backdrop that I would like to reiterate the following;
The BPSU is duty-bound to grow and strengthen our bargaining units from within. One of our primary responsibilities is to increase the Union’s presence in our bargaining units. This will be accomplished through the committed and dedicated efforts of our seasoned trade unionists, including our Labour Relations Organizer.
The BPSU will continue to fight against those employers who use intimidation methods as a means to weaken the Union or to prevent a workplace from becoming certified. The practice of employers manipulating the composition of bargaining units needs to be addressed and brought to the attention of the Labour Manager for appropriate action. The BPSU remains committed to working with our sister Unions in efforts to continue to strengthen Bermuda’s labour legislation that will mitigate against these types of coercive bullying and harassment tactics.
The BPSU remains steadfast in our commitment to ensuring that it continues to serve our members at the highest of standards through effective representation and the protection of workers’ rights.
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