After 14 months in government, Acting Premier & Minister of Public Works, Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch said the new administration has “taken stock of this community”, but now it’s time to “double” their “efforts in working” for the people.
In his Labour Day address on Union Square on Monday, Minister Burch said now that “a new legislative session will be upon us”, in the words of the Premier, it’s time “to tackle the issues that make Bermuda too expensive for most hard working families”.
“We are done diagnosing the problems; it is time for solving those problems,” said Colonel Burch.
“We were elected to change Bermuda and to make life in this country fairer and better for the people of Bermuda. That starts with deliberately and aggressively bringing down the cost of living.
“The implementation of a living wage in this country is important. It is unthinkable in this day and age for an adult, with all the responsibilities demanded of our people, to earn a wage that can never allow them to take care of their primary needs. This will end; and we will introduce a living wage in Bermuda that promotes that dignity in
honest work I mentioned earlier.
“But a living wage is just one piece of the puzzle. You cannot improve peoples lives if all you do is give them the short term means to exist in an unjust system. The system must be changed; historic systems of inequality must be broken and injustice replaced with justice and equity.
“Healthcare; energy; mortgages, taxes…..these features of our everyday lives have become so normal that we have internalized the unjust way in which they are applied to us and we have made the unjust normal.
“Each of these strongholds of economic injustice, sometimes supported by antiquated and unjust laws are set to change. If all we do is give people more money to pay to ‘you know who’ then shame on us. It is time to break the back of these constants in our lives that can be more justly and more equitably applied.
“Make no mistake though, the squealing will begin soon, in fact it started last week by utterances from ‘he who served longer than any other’ – as those who have profited from this unjust system start trying to explain how the sky will fall if we don’t keep paying them from our hard earned wages.
“This is where solidarity and unity of purpose becomes more critical. We must be united in this fight, because history teaches us that only when we allow ourselves to be divided – can we be defeated.”
Minister Burch concluded: “The Labour movement in 2018 and beyond is the most critical partner in the progress we all want to see for Bermuda.
“My hope is that we can achieve agreements on the easy things and capitalize on the natural affinity between a Labour Government and Labour Unions.
“We must devote our time, talent and energy to the next phase of Bermuda’s story: the end of systemic inequality and a new era of social and economic justice leading to a fairer and better Bermuda for all.
“Family – United we stand; divided we fall!”