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Burgess demands answers from Govt on Heritage Wharf workforce

Government is ignoring questions about employment on the Heritage Wharf project, the Progressive Labour Party has charged.

A statement issued by the Opposition party on behalf of the Shadow Works Minister Derrick Burgess noted: “A week ago we raised the issue of work permits and contracts being awarded without Bermudian workers and companies being given first and fair opportunities to compete for them.

“To date neither Minister Trevor Moniz nor Minister Fahy have had the decency to provide Bermudians with answers to the critical questions surrounding this project.”

He went on to say that the new Government had promised that 75 percent of the workers at Heritage Wharf would be Bermudians and called on Government to provide details on the local workforce.

Mr Burgess said Government should state when the Bermudians will be employed and for how long, what job categories they will be employed in, and the number of Bermudians employed on the site.

The Opposition is also demanding that Government reveal how many work permit holders on the site failed the welding test and what were the job categories for the 22 work permit holders.

“With so many qualified, capable, hard working Bermudians out of work and so many Bermudian companies seeking opportunities, we must remain vigilant that the interests of Bermudians are protected. The OBA cannot duck responsibility for their decisions and owe the people an explanation.”

Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy and Public Works Minister Trevor Moniz did not respond when

The Royal Gazette sought a response to the Opposition’s comments.

Mr Burgess had previously criticised Government for approving almost two dozen work permits for the works at Heritage Wharf and allowing the contractors to bring in equipment from overseas which, he claimed, could be found on the Island.

But Mr Moniz responded with a statement saying that technical demands of the work necessitated foreign workers and that the workforce will be at least 75 percent Bermudians in any case.

It has also emerged that the positions were not advertised.

Government is making modifications to the wharf after finding it to be structurally unsound. The goal is to complete the $22 million project by May in time for the arrival of the Norwegian Breakaway and before the cruise ship season starts.

Shadow Public Works Minister Derrick Burgess

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Published April 04, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 04, 2013 at 12:20 am)

Burgess demands answers from Govt on Heritage Wharf workforce

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