The Progressive Labour Party (PLP) supports the Government’s position on decertification as outlined in the Trade Unions & Labour Relations(Consolidation) Act 2021 and the supporting regulations. Rest assured, we are a Labour Party and we have not turned our backs on the Unions. In this instance, however, the BIU and the Government do not agree.
The PLP Government represents all workers, not just organized workers. This legislation gives all workers the power and ability to decide what is best for them. It ensures workers’ rights are protected and that our economy can grow.
It allows all workers to participate in a vote on whether or not their workplace should be certified or decertified with a trade union. This puts the power squarely in the hands of the workers to decide what is best for them.
Today we acknowledge the decision of the membership of the BIU to conduct a 2-day work stoppage, but this decision is most unfortunate.
This action will hurt our economy and our people, who have struggled to survive over the past 18 months.
Our workers will lose wages.
Our businesses and key services will be disrupted. Our economy will be significantly impacted.
This move by the BIU is an overreach. The Government advanced this legislation to empower workers. The Government has repeatedly stated that the process in Clause 57 is the same that has been in effect since Dame Lois Browne-Evans was the Attorney General nearly 25 years ago.
This clause is consistent with Human Rights, Constitutional Law, Labour Law and ILO conventions supported by unions internationally. We view this legislation as fair for workers and our economy.
The motion and ultimatum by the BIU’s General Council requesting that the Premier and Party Leader David Burt and Minister of Labour Jason Hayward step down was extreme and unreasonable. It is our hope that the BIU membership will encourage dialogue between its leadership and the Government to bring this matter to resolution.
The PLP will continue to protect the rights of all workers as we carry out our election mandate to create a better and fairer Bermuda.
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