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BIU official to take legal action after he was fired by president

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George Scott (File photgraph)
Chris Furbert, president of the Bermuda Industrial Union (File photograph)

A senior official of the Bermuda Industrial Union is to launch legal action against Chris Furbert, its president, after he claimed he fired him against the organisation’s rules.

George Scott, who was an executive officer for the union for 18 years, maintained he still held the position after Mr Furbert dismissed him in a letter dated May 26 that accused him of undermining his leadership and the integrity of the union.

Mr Scott said Mr Furbert called the police yesterday to eject him from the BIU headquarters on Union Square, in Pembroke.

Police later confirmed that Mr Scott, who said he left the building of his own accord, was not arrested.

Mr Scott, who will run for the president’s post in an election next March, insisted that members of the union executive could be fired only by a vote of a special delegates’ conference under the union’s constitution.

He said: “He can terminate me as an organiser but not as an executive.”

Mr Scott highlighted Rule 13 of the BIU constitution which said: “Any or all of the executive officers of the union may be removed from office by a two-thirds majority vote, via secret ballot, by a Special Delegates’ Conference summoned for that purpose.“

Mr Scott said he had asked for legal advice and was prepared to contest the termination and statements made by Mr Furbert, which he claimed were defamatory.

He added that Mr Furbert had “stood up to the wrong person”.

Mr Scott said: “I am not backing down. We are going to take it all the way.”

Mr Furbert wrote in the termination letter to Mr Scott: “I hope that you can appreciate that over the years I have been extremely patient in trying to put aside things that you have done to undermine my leadership as general president.

“Despite my efforts to put the interests of the union before our differences, you have continued to engage in behaviours that seek to destabilise this union.

“No other BIU president has had to put up with this type of insubordination from another executive officer.

“It is unfortunate that it has come to this but as general president, I must make decisions that uphold the integrity and legacy of this union.”

Mr Scott filed an internal grievance against the termination on May 31 and said that he awaited a response from the union.

Mr Furbert declined to comment on the controversy last night.

He said in a e-mail: “These are internal matters that will be dealt with by the BIU.”

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