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BIU accounts remain out of public’s reach

The public is still banned from seeing Bermuda Industrial Union’s accounts, eight weeks after president Chris Furbert invited everyone to view them through the Registrar General.

The BIU filed its overdue accounts for 2003 to 2009 amid fanfare in early September, following repeated complaints that members don’t know whether there’s enough money in the coffers to support them in difficult times.

On September 9, Mr Furbert declared the union was in good financial shape, telling the public they could see those accounts for themselves through the Registrar General for a small fee.

However, since then Registrar General Marlene Christopher has repeatedly refused to release the accounts.

She says the documents meet the filing requirements but they must remain secret until the union provides additional information about its accounts for 2000 to 2002. The BIU has continuously failed to provide her with those details, she said.

The accounts provide a general statement of income, expenditures, funds and effects, detailing a breakdown of BIU members.

One Bermuda Alliance Senator Michael Fahy says union members have approached him many times this year, anxious to know if there’s enough money to support them in the case of strike action.

Sen Fahy claims the BIU has broken the law by not allowing its members to see approved financial statements for the past 12 years.

He has previously criticised the accounts for 2000 to 2002 for having a serious lack of explanatory notes explaining receipts and costs, unclear line item explanations and no breakdown of large items.

Those three accounts revealed union salaries grossly outstripped union members dues, according to Sen Fahy.

Mr Furbert has not responded to questions over the accounts from this newspaper in recent weeks.

BIU president Chris Furbert

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Published November 04, 2011 at 10:05 am (Updated November 04, 2011 at 10:05 am)

BIU accounts remain out of public’s reach

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