BIU president in stinging attack on Government
The president of the Bermuda Industrial Union last night launched a stinging attack on the Government accusing it of double standards and calling on the PLP backbench MPs to “remember that their obligation is first and foremost to the people who elected them”.
Chris Furbert said: “As president of the Bermuda Industrial Union, I feel compelled to issue a public statement in light of the inconsistencies in the application of policy rules and guidelines that are occurring during our lockdown.
“It would appear that there are double standards being practised in terms of rules being applied for certain big businesses who are being granted exemptions while small Bermudian businesses such as those who sell produce, fishermen, farmers etc; are not allowed to operate under the lockdown provisions and this is not right.”
Mr Furbert drew parallels with protests that met OBA decisions saying: “If this was the OBA government that was making these kinds of inconsistent decisions and practicing double standards that discriminated against Bermudians, it would have sparked an island-wide outcry against them for those decisions that could have even led to an island wide protest.”
He said that during the pandemic over the past 12 months, there has been one large demonstration and that was for Black Lives Matter when thousands of people were in the streets in support of that demonstration.
“I would remind you that the results of the General Election held on October 1, 2020 where the people of Bermuda entrusted through their vote the PLP government the ability to continue as the Government. The voters provided them with an even bigger mandate of 30 seats to the OBA’s six seats,” Mr Furbert said.
“In view of this it is incumbent for the PLP back bench to understand while they are members of the PLP to remember that their obligation is first and foremost to the people who elected them.
“They were elected by the people of Bermuda to represent the will of the people and as such are bound by the electoral social contract to honour that trust, by holding their Cabinet colleagues accountable for those inconsistencies and discriminatory double standards.
“I would like to remind the PLP Government who put them in power. Governments serve at the pleasure of the people, so they should honour and respect that trust which the people have given to them.”
Lastly, Mr Furbert said: “Please do not forget the Bermudian people when you are making your decisions that will ultimately affect the lives, health, safety, wellbeing and future of the people of Bermuda.”
A government spokesman said: ““The regulations for the stay-at-home order always allowed for licensed fishermen and registered commercial farmers to tend to their farms and to fish. On Thursday evening, the Deputy Premier, Walter Roban, announced measures to allow them to sell their goods at roadside stalls under specific permission.
“The last week has been difficult with more Bermudian lives lost to Covid-19 and the economic pain of the very necessary stay-at-home order. Despite the challenges, the Government remains focused on its mission: keeping Bermudians safe while rebuilding Bermuda’s economy.
“The Government trusts that the Bermuda Industrial Union will be a productive partner in that effort given the number of BIU members who rely on a strong tourism industry for their livelihoods.”