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Minister addresses hotel and hospital staff

Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Housekeepers were reminded that their services leave lasting impressions on visitors and patients at a workshop for union members today.Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works and Acting Minister of Tourism and Transport, welcomed attendees to the “Make My Workplace Safe” event.It was held by the Bermuda Industrial Union in conjunction with the International Union of Food and Allied Workers, at the BIU headquarters.Colonel Burch’s remarks follow:President Chris, sister Molly, sister Ronnie, Mr. MacDonald — good morning and a very special good morning to all of you dedicated and hardworking BIU members attending this “Make My Workplace Safe” workshop.While I am here today as the Acting Minister of Tourism, I am also here as a new hotel owner — I own that brand new hotel soon to open on the South Shore in Warwick — the Bermudiana Beach Resort — actually — we all own that hotel — those same buildings that some said would fall into sea, but yet they are still standing!On a more serious note though, it is a real pleasure to be here this morning representing the Ministry of Tourism & Transport. It is even more important that you understand that while your job may not always be the easiest, the most pleasant or the most exciting it is however, very important in the grander scheme of things and the much bigger picture of our hospitality industry.Whether it is the hotel or the hospital, you are assisting in creating an experience for whoever walks through the door and every guest or patient that is on the receiving end of your services, is a walking and talking advertisement … … not just for the establishment that you represent, but Bermuda as a whole. Your efforts will help to create and leave lasting memories with tourists, guests and patients alike.There is no better feeling than walking into a hotel room — as a paying guest — to find it immaculate and spotless — that is exactly what is expected and you are the ones that provide that first impression. None of us wish to be hospitalised — but in the event that we are, we want to know that we are entering a clean and sterile facility — that is where the housekeeping team at King Edward comes into play. I can personally attest to that being the case during my own brief hospitalisation earlier this year.Today, you will hear and learn all manner of information and it will be important and beneficial to you in carrying out your duties — but please remember you are a very important and essential player on the team striving to keep our hospitality business successful. It is that team effort that has always propelled the Bermuda Industrial Union to successfully represent its members.“Hospitality is making your guest feel as if they are at home, even if you wish they were!” and “If you treat people well, the way you would like to be treated, they will likely do the same”. Unknown author.And a word to employers: that famous 2014 quote from Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Hotels — “Train people well enough so they can leave — treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”On behalf of the substantive Minister, the honourable Zane DeSilva let me commend the BIU who have always been at the forefront of not just representing its members in contract negotiations but educating you as well — so I commend you for continuing that tradition on this occasion in conjunction with your affiliate the International Union of Food & Allied Workers and I wish you a most successful workshop.Thank you.