Rumblings of discontent with the Progressive Labour Party administration and the leadership of the Bermuda Industrial Union (BIU) rang through loud and clear at the union’s recent general membership meeting.

That meeting was held at BIU headquarters on Tuesday (Jan 31) for members to decide whether or not to accept the Government’s proposed 2.25 percent wage increase in intervals.

As quiet as it has been kept, those in the know would have heard the audio clips circulating on social media by now, featuring excerpts taken from comments made at that meeting by a union member.

That member did not mince his words when he addressed the floor and BIU President Chris Furbert.

At one point he fired a salvo at the Government, saying: “Greed alone is destroying our economy -selfishness – people lining their pockets!

“My PLP stands for ‘please line pockets’, in case you don’t know!

“You’re hearing the hymn sir. You got enough people behind you. I bet you any money if the people behind you spoke up, you might be shocked on how they felt.

“But you see what happens, in accordance to agreements.

“Silence is a form of agreements, and we have to be very careful of what we’re silent on in these times, because it’s not the time or the hour for you, but the hour and time for our children and the people that fought for this country that deserve something.”

He also blasted the Government for that $4,500 housing allowance paid out to 20 firefighters for the airport, while Bermudians struggle to keep a roof over their heads.

“Your government just gave 20 firefighters a $4,500 allowance, but you can’t even harbour one of your own.

“It’s scary what’s going on in this country! It’s more favourable to be a foreigner – no disrespect to any foreigners in this room…I’m not coming for you guys because I understand.

“When it comes down to the real, if I’m going leave somewhere for a better life, I’m going do that,” he added.

“But I’m not going be bringing down the people of the country that I’m benefitting off of behind their back or to their face, because if things were so good, I would’ve been still in my country. Respect is where respect is due.”

He also challenged the union president, saying: “Come for your people or step down man!

“I want to see people that’s actually saying to their self that they have got the best interests of their people at hand and not their own.”

Here’s what he had to say in the five excerpts sent to Bermuda Real by serveral of our viewers and readers, shortly after the general membership meeting was held:

With everything else that’s going on – financial assistance, social services, yes, there’re all holding us up. But why is it now that it’s the crunch time when this government can’t even get us out of a recession, you’re coming back to the people talking about your percentage.

Thank you we do, we appreciate a slice of the bread!

But prisons get a whole seven percent and you guys are getting intervals of percentages – 2.25 percent!

I command you guys, I implore you! But do you know what’s going to happen in three months – six months from right now? Where’s our protection from the insurance companies? Who is coming to protect us when they’re coming for that? And then see other things in our GDP and other groceries and everything that’s going be climbing, union dues! So where are we being protected, because you give us and then you take back?

So, you want me hit the goal like Pele but you’re moving the posts. And then you don’t want me doing nothing illegal!

I could go on a lot, I mean I could hit you guys with some things right now Brother Chris, but look – I’m not going be going at odds with somebody that’s supposed to be having the best interests at heart for everybody right here.

If you sleep comfortable nights knowing what you stand for in the organisation has been built off of, then I could close my eyes comfortable as well.

But the elderly that’s in this room that sacrificed blood, sweat and tears, that don’t have a voice, that are quiet and silent while they’re suffering. These things we should be focusing on because I actually want to stay in government and retire. But I’m looking forward to it watching you the way you’re treating these lot right here. I’m not looking forward to that at all. And then we have deal with the public and everybody else…

It’s a lot of things that we lot come up against that are not spoken about and we want to be here smiling up in each others faces and then stab each other in the back at the same time, and then say you’re my brother

I came in government thinking it was a family, I found out something different along the way. All I’m saying is – right, is that if every voice in this room was to speak up on how their finances are hitting them and what’s coming down the pipeline, and who’s got cancer, and who died from this whatever. And all these things that are piling up inside of them…go back and think about that 2.25.

Eggs are gone up, chickens are styling right now – $8 a box – you got me.

This country has been so private, when it comes down to privatisations and different things – pirating, and different laws that allow them to just bring in a bubble gum for five cents and charge you $50 for it. That is destroying our economy…No way you’re suffering all these years and you got to retire at 70 in a country.

You want to talk to me about trash, you want to give these guys a serivce? Stop calling them essential service like my job calls me an essential service when we need to for convenience and treat them as if they’re essential service!

Police retire after 21 years, why we can’t who work around harmful chemicals that’s going to be reducing our lifespan. Who’s talking about that?

Great leaders don’t think of themselves – they think of others. Now don’t take everything that I’m saying right here, as if I’m being ungrateful. I’m very grateful, but for seeing the past of how we have been homaged and humbled ourselves for this government, and everything else and everybody else get a fly by. It’s not cool. They’re coming after everybody’s livelihoods.

You’re coming after the fishermen.

Everybody that comes in here that’s an invasive species takes over and what they do – deplete the economic resource and resources of whatever they touch where they land. And then they go back home.

I want to know how much money is leaving this country for Western Union a day! And you’re talking about the foreigners out here circulating the money. They are – they’re buying rice and that’s it.

I’m going keep it real, no disrespect, I love their hustle, but we are suffering at the detriment of their survival rate. Eight in a house but you’re worried about somebody else that’s got a child with another child in a room.

Either way we are not going off topic Brother Chris, but I think you need to tighten up your belt and tightened up your holster when you go back.

If the people want this here I’m going let you know I am not sticking around this organisation because I can see exactly where it’s going. And it’s bottom – the bottom’s about to fall out of Bermuda, and we are not catching on, and we are not catching the wave. I want to ride the wave to battle freedom – you understand.

We feel as if we are captives in our own country and now you’re going come and try to talk about pennies and pinch dollars that are ours!

You don’t want to give them back after we showed you homage?

Have some respect for the elders, I don’t care what you do with you do with me or my generation.

You could call us ‘X LOST’ or whatever you want, but we ain’t [sic]. I would have some other choice words on certain things that I feel on how slack this congregation has been…But I ain’t coming to attack my leader. I never do.

But what I am going tell you is somebody told me years ago – why you’re looking in a next man’s plate. I said to him brother I never look in a next man’s plate, but I do look at whose eating with him.

I look at whose sitting down at his table…My people ain’t [sic] eating!

If you think you’re eating and you want to clap for some 2.5 [sic] in intervals, you guys have a good day.

But I’m going tell you this here right now, the King – I don’t care what you call him – Ras Jah is watching all of us!

And the people that think they’re going to get away with this – you’re closing your eyes real sweet at night right now. But trust me, knock on those gates, you’re going get the same answer you done [sic] to us.

Have a good day.