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Union anniversary a reminder of progress

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In 1958 a young Bermudian entered the gates of Belco to begin employment.

In 1965 another young Bermudian stood outside the gates of Belco.

In 1993 yet another young Bermudian entered the gates of Belco to begin employment.

In 1958 the young man entered a work environment where there were separate bathrooms designated for blacks and whites.

In 1965 the young man decided to take a stand against segregation.

In 1993 the other young man entered a work environment where there was one bathroom for both blacks and whites.

In 1958 the young man entered a work environment where health and safety was near nonexistent.

In 1965 the young man took a stand for Bermudians to have health and safety on the job.

In 1993 the young man entered a work environment where Health and Safety was a paramount principle.

Over the past 50 years employees entering employment at Belco have had the benefit of union recognition via the Electricity Supply trade Union (ESTU)

Established in 1965, some of the original executive and trustees were:-

• C Renaud

• Lawrence Medeiros

• Leslie Caldwell

• M McInnis

• Mr Gerald Brangman

• Vera Commissiong

For the past 50 years the ESTU has made strides in the area of:-

• Health and Safety on the Job

• Employee in-house and external training

• Employee medical benefits

• Paternity leave

• Employee pension plans

In celebration of these 50 years of progress and innovation, this Saturday, May 2, the ESTU will be holding their 50th Anniversary banquet at the Fairmont Southampton.

Key Note speaker will be Dr Bernice A King, the youngest daughter of Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

She serves as the CEO of the King Centre, which was founded by her mother, Mrs Coretta Scott King. She has a strong concern for family and community activities.

There will undoubtedly be a gathering of generations of past and present employees speaking glowingly of life as Belco workers and union members.

Jokes and pictures will be traded and many tall stories will be told. Belco employees are much more than co-workers; they are essentially family to each other.

In 1958 the young man entered a work environment that had no union presence

In 1965 the other young man was determined to see a better work environment for Bermudians

In 1993 the other young man entered a work environment that had a growing union presence

In 1958 the young man was my father

In 1965 the young man was my uncle

1n 1993 the young man was myself

This Saturday I will be proudly taking my father Mr Thomas Famous, who worked at Belco in 1958, to the ESTU banquet.

This Saturday I will be proudly taking my uncle Mr James Famous, who was arrested during the Belco strike of 1965 to the ESTU banquet.

It is because of them and many other Bermudians like them that the ESTU exists.

It is because of them and many other Bermudians like them that many like myself have a job with rights and benefits fought for by unions such as the BIU and ESTU.

Landmark moment: The Belco strike of 1965, which saw demonstrators clash with police in a day of violence that shook the Island
Guest speaker: Dr Bernice A King, the daughter of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, will take to the podium at the ESTU anniversary banquet

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Published April 29, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated April 29, 2015 at 1:11 am)

Union anniversary a reminder of progress

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