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No greater mockery

April 17, 2012

Dear Sir,

Ideally the parties to a negotiation or business arrangement hold discussions among themselves and do not hurl misleading and unproductive public accusations at each other. However, when one party brings a dispute into the public domain, the other is often obliged to follow in order to set the public record straight. On behalf of KFC, I wish to clarify the company’s position on the rights of workers to representation and collective bargaining.

KFC has never attempted to decertify the BIU as the bargaining agent for its unionised workers. Certification of the bargaining agent is entirely separate from any collective agreement which the agent may negotiate. It is the sole prerogative of the workers to freely choose their representative. As bargaining agent for KFC’s workers, a role for which the workers pay the BIU, it is the BIU’s responsibility to participate in discussions with KFC in furtherance of a new collective agreement. BIU’s refusal to continue discussions with KFC does a disservice to the members of the bargaining unit. There is no greater mockery of the labour relations process than one party refusing to participate in discussions with the other and refusing to accept the provisions of an agreement which was freely negotiated and executed.

Rather than fulfilling its duty to KFC workers, the BIU seems willing to sacrifice the financial security of those workers by walking away from negotiations and through actions such as:

1. Irrational demands that KFC direct the workers’ pension contributions into a pension plan whose administration and solvency is in question;

2. Trying to promote a boycott of KFC which, if successful, would likely lead to reduced income for KFC’s workers (if not unemployment); and

3. Rejecting a proposal brought forward by KFC during negotiations that would introduce a profit sharing scheme for workers.

KFC continues to encourage the BIU to return to a productive discussion about matters specifically relevant to KFC and KFC’s workers. It is only through a return to the negotiating table that the parties will be able to find a way to resolve their present differences.

JASON BENEVIDES

Controller & Director

Kentucky Fried Chicken (Bermuda) Limited

Vice President of the Bermuda Industrial Union Arnold Smith stands outside KFC to make a second stand to protest outside KFC Saturday morning, calling on residents to boycott the restaurant due to a dispute with management. Here Mr. Smith holds anit-KFC flyers to hand out asking people to boycott KFC, as a pedestrian seemed uncertain if he wanted to enter the establishment. (Photo by Akil Simmons) April 14, 2012

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Published April 18, 2012 at 9:29 am (Updated April 18, 2012 at 9:28 am)

No greater mockery

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