A Note of Courtesy – BIU Meeting

I just wanted to say that I made a mistake in this post. I am thus retracting this post. I will keep it up, solely for the purpose of continuing the discussion of union meetings during work times. So I repeat, my information is wrong, there is no meeting for that time.

32 thoughts on “A Note of Courtesy – BIU Meeting

  1. I am a firm believer in the Unions as a form of protection for employees, but these meetings are ridiculous. There will always be disruption but it seems to be that the BIU especially is in a power struggle to see who really runs the country.

  2. I agree with Mike. Unions are a necessity, in order to redress the inherent imbalance in the power between employer and employee, but the situation in Bermuda is ridiculous: repeated illegal ‘wildcat’ strikes in order to protest alleged breaches of contract by employers (hypocrites much, are we?!) and meetings seemingly designed to cause disruption. Sorry, but is there a reason why meetings can’t be held on a weekend – on the workers’ own time – when the vast majority of them won’t be ordinarily scheduled for work, or do they feel that they have a God-given right to take time off from work at will?

  3. I really don’t think that this meeting is anything more than a regular annual type meeting. I don’t think it is any type of strike action whatsoever. Might be wrong, but thats my understanding. But who does really run the country anyway? Parliament? Government House? Union HQ? Corporate boardrooms? Government bureaucracy? Freemasons? I personally think that the axis of power is some sort of alliance between Corporate boardrooms, Parliament, Government House and the bureaucracy in that order of power.

  4. But, Jonathan, that’s hardly the issue, is it? Why don’t they hold these meetings – which they know cause disruption – on a weekend, if not for purely selfish reasons? If it’s so bloody important that the workers attend, surely they would be willing to attend on their own time, or is that precisely the point?

  5. Employers meet during daytime hours; why can’t employees? Just because there are more of them doesn’t make it wrong.

  6. “Employers meet during daytime hours; why can’t employees? Just because there are more of them doesn’t make it wrong.”

    I hope that that’s an attempt at humour that missed the mark. Seriously. Because, if it’s not, it’s a bona fide demonstration of the poor work ethic that Bermuda has become (possibly, unfairly) famous for.

    Last time I looked at an employment contract, employees didn’t pay money to employers to carry out work on their behalf. If an employer wishes to lunch, meet others or, hell, sky dive on his dime, that’s up to him. It’s his bottom line, not the workers’. I daresay that, if you employed a contractor to renovate your home, and you complained about how long the job was taking due to his absences from the job site, you wouldn’t be too pleased if he responded with, “well, you come and go as you please from the job site, why the hell can’t I?”

  7. I had thought there was a paragraph in the agreements between unions and employers that permitted such time off, but, having searched for it (in the Union Bluebook on the right), I can’t see it. So you may well be right.

  8. I just wanted to say that I think I mistake in this post. I think I totally misinterpreted the information I had. I am thus retracting this post. I will keep it up, solely for the purpose of continuing the discussion of union meetings during work times. So I repeat, my information is wrong, there is no meeting for that time.

  9. “dude get a life or wife or something…life’s too short”

    Yep, that’s the level of discourse that Bermuda needs, not that I expect anything more from a demonstrably racist troll who has enough time on his hands, and not enough of “a life”, to actually stalk people.

  10. Okay. The Japanese is a bit out of place here methinks.

    I would strongly advise all parties to do their best to engage in constructive criticism. Other such actions are better suited for the Shark Tank over at Sucks, a feature I do not have on this blog.


  11. The e-mail sent was wrong? I too heard there was a meeting on Weds at the same times you had posted (via direct e-mail). Any reason as to why it was changed?

  12. In Trade Union/Mgt speak…either there is an agreement between the parties as to how they will manage the relationship – or there isn’t.

    There is of course such a procedure agreement. Sadly, the Trade Union doesn’t recognize it.

    The Government should ‘lock’ these people out the next time they breach that agreement. We can do without the ferries and buses for a short while – more people in cars should do the trick in terms of getting people into work.

    Managing IR has never been so painful as it is here – because it isn’t managed.

  13. You can’t have been too far wrong about the BIU meeting tomorrow. It is posted on the home page of the Government website.

  14. It was announced through the Chamber of Commerce too… and only just changed today till next week, but it seems BIU members knew well in advance, so why the late notice?

  15. No comment. I am sure that if certain parties listen to reason the need for a meeting will no longer exist. Its obvious I think that I solidly support labour here.

  16. There is no doubt on your support of labour, and thats fine… but who questioned that?

    This is the letter from the Chamber sent after 5pm last night.

    “A Bermuda Industrial Union meeting scheduled for tomorrow (June 11th) has been put back one week.
    The general membership meeting will not take place on Wednesday, June 18th, at 10:30 a.m.
    There will be an interruption in all public services during this period, affecting bus and ferry schedules.
    The Government apologizes in advance for any inconvenience this may cause residents and visitors, and will advise when regular services have resumed.”

  17. It wasn’t questioned. I found out more about what the meeting is about, and was giving them my public backing. I’ll be expanding on that shortly, but for now I’ve decided to adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach for the timebeing.

  18. I wonder if Jon will be commenting on Ed Ball’s interview on the news this morning regarding the treatment of Unions from the present Government? I would be interested in hearing his perspective. (As it is not something yet reported in the RG I would hope it is not rejected out of hand)

  19. To be totally honest I wasn’t able to hear the interview, so I cannot really speak on it. I do have some understanding of his frustrations, and I’ll see if I can write something on that later; in the mean time I’ll see if I can get a transcript of the interview.

  20. i’ve been following obama’s connection with labour even when he was running for the senate – he seems to have always had a good relationships with them – this pending endorsement is big – any thoughts starling:

    AFL-CIO to endorse Obama within weeks

    By JESSE J. HOLLAND, AP Labor Writer 2 hours, 2 minutes ago

    WASHINGTON – The AFL-CIO will endorse Sen. Barack Obama within weeks, union leaders said after a private meeting Wednesday with the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

    “Notice was given to the presidents of the internationals today that they should be anticipating a vote for endorsement in the next few weeks,” said Paul Shearon, secretary-treasurer of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers.

    Obama met with the AFL-CIO’s leadership for more than an hour at their headquarters a block from the White House.

    A strong AFL-CIO endorsement could help Obama with blue-collar workers and union members in industrial states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan. The AFL-CIO expects to spend about $200 million on the presidential and congressional elections, much of it on Democrats.

    Rifts between AFL-CIO unions that had endorsed other candidates during the Democratic primary seemed to be forgotten after the meeting.

    Harold A. Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, predicted “a solid and unanimous endorsement” for Obama. The firefighters union originally supported Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd before he ended his presidential bid in January.

    Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and one of New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s biggest primary supporters, called Obama a “sure-footed friend of labor.”

    “He really gave us some insight on the kind of person he is,” McEntee said.

    Clinton dropped out of the race earlier this month and endorsed Obama.

    The AFL-CIO’s general board, which is expected to meet soon, will make a decision on an Obama endorsement.

    On Thursday, Obama will meet with the AFL-CIO’s main rival, the Change to Win labor federation, which has endorsed him. The Illinois senator also will meet leaders of the AFL-CIO, Change to Win and other unaffiliated unions at a closed-door economic forum.

  21. Given the Republican’s terrible economic record over the past 60 years a union would be crazy to endorse any major Republican candidate… Leaving one viable option.

  22. I’m a little busy with a few things right now which explains the lack of new posts; its alot easier to comment on ongoing threads than to write original posts sometimes…

    My position on the political situation is essentially that there is very little substantial difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. If I lived and could vote in the USA I would vote for either the Socialist Party of the USA or the Green Party depending on my place of residence there and the voting options available to me. I see the dichotomy of the Republicans and Democrats being largely a lesser of two evils question, and prefer to vote for the good and not an evil, even if one is lesser than another.

    I wrote earlier in another post that I predicted Mr. Obama to win the Democratic nomination but to lose the general election to Mr. McCain. I still feel that will be the case.

    Mr. Obama’s positions on Isreal, on US Imperialism in general, on social issues and so forth are at best only superficially more liberal than Mr. McCain.

    I am sure that the main Unions in the USA will back Mr. Obama; in general they back all of the Democratic Party elections. Its no big deal, and the history of the AFL-CIO itself is not exactly inspiring from a labour perspective. The Democrats are not a labour party and never have been. They are but one wing of one capitalist Party as far as I can see.

  23. I would have to second Starling’s position here concerning Obama. I myself have already endorsed the candidacy of the Socialist Party USA and since I am a registered voter in the state of Wisconsin, where SP-USA generally gets on the ballot, I fully intend to vote for them. If there are complications with them getting on the ballot in that state, I will vote for either the Party for Socialism and Liberation or the Socialist Worker’s Party (in that order of preference), I personally cannot vote for the Green Party as I am turned off by their social democratism.

    As for Obama’s positions on such issues as Israel, the wider Middle-East, Latin America and the like, I have put up a load of articles from various US leftist groups such as the Seattle Anti-Imperialist Committee, North Eastern Federation of Anarchist Communists, Workers International League and Revolutionary Communist Party. The consensus amongst those left of the Democrats in America is that Obama himself represents little to know real change, rather the real important thing is to engage the mass movement that has grown up around him, especially its mobilization of youth and African-Americans

  24. This is directed to Rowland and Jonny,

    Do you guys feel there are any countries currently where socialism is working as you envision it?

  25. In a word, no.

    Does that mean socialism is impractical? No.

    Remember, before capitalism there was feudalism, and before that other socioeconomic structures. Should the capitalist revolutionaries have given up simply because there was no existing form of capitalism then in existence?

  26. Sorry, pressed the enter button too quickly…

    There have been some examples of socialism practised that were close to at least my own conceptions of socialism. Namely the Paris commune, parts of the Spanish Republic during the civil war, parts of Germany during the 1918 revo, Russia during the revo (crushed by the Bolsheviks that coopted the revo), Hungary in 1956. There are others. Those are some of the main ones. True, they were all crushed. But they were crushed not due to any inherent problems of their system, rather they were crushed by overwhelming external military force.

  27. In a word, no.

    not even the UK at teh height of it’s socialist leanings -brit rail,brit airways, mining etc – pre thatcher

  28. he sounds pretty sincere:

    Obama clear: He’s pro-union

    May 15, 2007
    BY LYNN SWEET Sun-Times Columnist

    TRENTON, N.J. — He won’t shop at Wal-Mart. He is for a law making it easier for people to join unions. If president, his appointees would be “sympathetic” to labor. He said he walked picket lines while a state senator.

    It’s “been a long time since we had a president who said unions are a good thing,” said White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) at an AFL-CIO presidential forum, a stop in a day with three New Jersey fund-raisers and endorsements from two New Jersey mayors.

    After previous lackluster appearances before union groups, on Monday, Obama made a clear and specific appeal to labor. Giving a nod to workers trying to organize at Atlantic City casinos, Obama said, “We need to stand with them and help them organize.”

    He spoke at the third in a series of seven forums with the major Democratic 2008 presidential contenders sponsored by the AFL-CIO, to wind up at a multi-candidate forum when AFL-CIO leaders meet in Chicago in early August.

  29. “Remember, before capitalism there was feudalism, and before that other socioeconomic structures. Should the capitalist revolutionaries have given up simply because there was no existing form of capitalism then in existence?”

    But capitalism hadn’t failed for the better part of 100 years before hand – as is the case with Socialism today. It’s been tried many times and has failed every time. When Capitalism was introduced I bet it spread pretty fast, to all parts of the globe. Socialism has never caught on like that and probably never will. Capitalism will rule the world for the foreseeable future. Sorry to burst your bubble.


  30. starling there’s a great doc. called the Commanding Heights about the battle between economic systems – i think u’d like it

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