The following statement was released for publication today (September 1, 2021), by Opposition Leader Cole Simons, of the One Bermuda Alliance, regarding the dispute between the Bermuda Government and the Bermuda Industrial Union…

The dispute between the PLP government and the BIU marks an historic moment in Bermuda’s history.  What we are observing is the decoupling of two prominent organizations that have been so closely intertwined, that at times they have appeared to be one and the same.  

As the Opposition, our primary concern is always for the Bermuda public, who have innocently been drawn into a fight through the disruption of services for an issue which is not related to labour, but one which is purely legislative. Unfortunately, this issue has devolved to become a political matter.  

Clearly, Bermuda has more than enough to contend with, like the ongoing impact of the pandemic, an economy struggling to get on its feet, and a diminished tourist season.  The threat of a 21-day strike notice from the BIU and no plan for resolution from the government, will only serve to destabilize us as a country, and divide us as a people.    

Earlier this year the Premier extended his emergency powers to manage the pandemic during an ‘imposed state of emergency’. If we are still in a state of emergency, why has the Premier been on holiday and absent and why have Cabinet meetings been suspended?  This is totally unacceptable to the people of this country.

As we all know government business continues all year around and Cabinet meetings should be held all throughout the year.  In the absence of any Premier, Bermuda’s Cabinet meetings ought to be chaired by the Deputy Premier, or an Acting Premier. Unfortunately, this is another example of the flawed PLP leadership, especially during this tense period in Bermuda’s history.