Louis Somner (1959-2018)
Louis Somner, an official at the Bermuda Industrial Union, has died. Mr Somner was 59.
Colleagues said yesterday Mr Somner, who died on Sunday, was a battler for workers’ rights over his ten-year career with the union and a devoted family man.
George Scott, the union’s chief organiser, said: “He was a go-getter. He was very proficient at his job.
“Some people ask for help — he never asked for help, he just did what he needed to do and got results out of it.”
Mr Scott added: “Not everyone is made out to be an organiser — some people may get the job, but they do absolutely nothing when they are in the job.
“Louis made a difference — he went out, he talked to people, he had areas lined up to organise and he did it.
“He loved what he was doing.”
Mr Somner, who joined the BIU staff in 2008, was organiser for several areas and started with the construction division.
He also represented the bus operators and allied workers’ division, health, education and youth and sport, as well as the general division, which includes warehouses and rest homes.
He was elected second vice-president of the BIU in 2014 — a position he held until March.
Mr Somner was appointed to the Human Rights Commission in 2013.
LaVerne Furbert, also a BIU official, said: “I will remember Somner as a fighter for workers’ rights and as a very dear friend.
“He was a devoted son to his mother and devoted father to his two children.
“He was also somebody that made me laugh. He liked to cook and I liked to cook and we always had this competition going about cooking our Sunday dinner.
“His contribution to the union and workers’ rights was invaluable. Somner did have some personal challenges, which we all have, on top of his health challenges.”
Glenn Simmons, a friend, added: “I am deeply saddened by the news. He was full of life and he was a guy who was very efficient about his work.
He was a strong believer in the union but he was a strong member of the Progressive Labour Party as well.”
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