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‘The more you do for people, the less they appreciate it’ BIU leader after one man protest

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Union boss Chris Furbert clashed with an angry protester outside Bermuda Industrial Union’s headquarters yesterday.

Dennis Nesbitt, who claims he’s not been paid enough sick leave since being seriously injured working on the garbage trucks two years ago, marched up and down Union Street with a placard calling for Mr Furbert to quit as BIU president.

Mr Furbert emerged from the building and the pair exchanged angry words; the president, who described Mr Nesbitt as an idiot, said the union has helped him receive sick payments.

Mr Nesbitt said he’s down to the last $95 in his bank account and hasn’t been paid in months.

He claimed union members aren’t receiving enough support because Mr Furbert has promised Works Minister Derrick Burgess, a former union president, there will be no disruption from workers this summer.

His placard stated: “No human rights. No labour. BIU president needs to step down.”

At one point, Mr Nesbitt told Mr Furbert to stop smiling, prompting the president to respond: “I’m going to smile at you, man.”

Mr Nesbitt continued: “The last time I came here, what did you say? You told me you would call me and you never called. I don’t want to hear it man.”

As Mr Nesbitt waved his walking stick and claimed he had a doctor’s letter in his pocket, Mr Furbert replied: “Bring it on, bring it on.”

Mr Nesbitt, 59, from Pembroke, told

The Royal Gazette he suffers from back pain on a daily basis after falling off a collection truck three years ago. His condition worsened following another accident in 2009.

He said the BIU should be backing his claim for Government to give him sick pay.

“How am I supposed to support my family?” he said. “They ain’t done nothing. All they say is they’ll call me back. What’s Furbert doing? Nothing. You know why? The president sold us out.

“Mr Burgess and Mr Furbert made an agreement to make sure there’s not disturbance. There ain’t no human rights or labour rights since the PLP got in power.”

He said of Mr Furbert: “Last time I dealt with him, I said, ‘What are you going to do?’ He just walked straight past me.”

Mr Furbert told this newspaper the BIU had helped Mr Nesbitt get sick leave.

Asked why he is continuing to complain, he replied: “He’s an idiot. Every time he’s asked we have helped him.

“Now he is standing outside with a placard? The more you do for people, the less they appreciate it. That’s a classic example of that.”

In a press conference during the afternoon, Mr Furbert said Mr Nesbitt had been paid up to the end of March 2011, and his status should now be assessed by the chief medical officer.

Mr Furbert said he found Mr Nesbitt’s stance against himself “very disturbing”.

He said Mr Nesbitt had visited the BIU office earlier in the week, and he had taken him into the back room to listen to his concerns.

“I have never refused to take up the cause on the behalf of a member,” he said.

Dennis Nesbitt makes a stand against BIU President Chris Furbert yesterday morning, as he marched out side union headquarters. ( Photo Akil Simmons)
Chris Furbert holded a press conference regarding the picketer (Dennis Nesbitt) outside of our building this morning.

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Published August 06, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated August 06, 2011 at 7:49 am)

‘The more you do for people, the less they appreciate it’ BIU leader after one man protest

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