Former PLP MP Believes Neither Party Involved in Current Labor Dispute is Blameless

Former Progressive Labor Party MP Glen Blakeney believes that Bermuda finds itself in a very sad and unfortunate situation right now.
“ [Currently], we have immigration reform causing contention, unresolved educational issues which are causing contention, vaccinated vs. unvaccinated contention, and now we have labor contention,” he said.

“ How much more contention do we need to realize that, without a great effort from stakeholders to find a reasonable compromise, that the island will continue to head in a downward spiral?”

Mr. Blakeney believes that Bermudian workers enjoy a lot of the benefits that they do today thanks to trade unions and collective bargaining. He also believes that, in relation to the current dispute between the BIU and the Government, neither party is entirely blameless.

“ The B.I.U. admitted that they had let sleeping dogs lie when they should have just been gung-ho on insisting on the challenge they faced with regard to the legislation as it was written years ago, so that it would not have gotten to this point,” he said. “But, the government of the day had the opportunity to fix what was wrong when they consolidated all the acts into one.”

Personally, Mr. Blakeney does not see how someone can have a say in determining the future of an organization when not fully a member of that organization.

“ The Union sees the [Trade Union and Labor Relations (Consolidations) Act] as a threat and the government sees it as being fair. Being a labor government, I do not see how,” he said. “This is something that makes the organization quite uncomfortable and could affect any of the island’s unions, not just the B.I.U . . .

When looking at collective economics, what other group demonstrates that in Bermuda besides this union?”

When asked why would the Premier take a holiday during this time with a dispute between Government and the Bermuda Industrial Union ( BIU ) the former Member of Parliament answered, I’m not too bothered by the fact that the Honorable Premier David Burt was off the island for the first day of the protest and arrived back on the island on the second day; leaving Deputy Premier the Honorable Walter Roban and the Minister of Labor Jason Hayward in charge of addressing the protesters; because everyone, even the leader of a country, is entitled to some time off.

“ At the end of the day, public servants do what they do at their own peril, and I do not think that the Premier is at all naive,” he said.

“ I support the PLP because they are the best group of people who will look out for the interests of like-minded people who have been underserved in this country for many years.

There is still a lot of dissatisfaction, and disappointment and it has all been exacerbated for the last 18 months by this global pandemic.”
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