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OBA Senate leader slams delay in labour Bill debate

Ben Smith, the One Bermuda Alliance leader in the Senate (File photograph)

The Opposition today attacked the Government for a failure to deal with legislation in the Senate.

Ben Smith, the One Bermuda Alliance senate leader, said the Progressive Labour Party delay in dealing with eleven Bills was “bizarre”.

He added that he believed the legislation was put off because the Government wanted to avoid debate to a labour relations Bill.

The Bill includes a controversial section to axe a provision that allowed workers who did not want to join a union to donate their dues to charity and replace it with one that allowed 50 per cent to go to charity and the other half to the relevant union.

Mr Smith said: “This new law will deprive charities of much needed funds at a time when charities are already under extreme pressure.”

He added: “In a time when charities are helping to feed our people, helping to protect the vulnerable and helping bring a little Christmas cheer to those who need it most, the Government Bill would reduce charitable resources.”

Mr Smith said: “Only last Wednesday, we agreed to have a long session today to deal with all the remaining eleven Bills for the year.

“Yet today the PLP pulled stumps and chose to adjourn the Senate to next year rather than allow a vote on the OBA amendments to the PLP labour bill.”

Mr Smith said the Opposition was given no notice of the change of heart.

He added the Opposition also wanted to have Hamilton docks declared an “essential service” to avoid industrial disputes that threatened the supply chain.

Mr Smith said: “A continuing supply chain is essential and must be protected for everyone’s benefit.

“The OBA amendment would make this happen.”

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Published December 21, 2020 at 11:41 pm (Updated December 21, 2020 at 11:41 pm)

OBA Senate leader slams delay in labour Bill debate

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