Created: Nov 05, 2022 08:11
Bermuda Industrial Union President Chris Furbert (File photo by Akil Simmons)
A union leader yesterday welcomed the creation of a new labor department to help protect workers’ rights.
Chris Furbert, the head of the Bermuda Industrial Union, said: “Anything that helps improve the rights of organized workers will be something the BIU will support.
“Members have felt over the years that there are laws in place that should apply to everyone and felt that while they should apply to employers, they were more for employees and unions.
“We will now have a vehicle that will ensure that the laws will be fair in all areas, but more importantly, that the rights of workers will be protected.”
Mr Furbert was speaking after Tom Oppenheim, the Deputy Governor, announced the creation of a Ministry of Labor in the Speech from the Throne yesterday.
The ministry will ensure that workers’ rights are protected and that employers comply with labor regulations.
Mr Oppenheim said: ‘Workers must be protected and industrial relations within the economy will be strengthened by certainty and understanding of the rights and responsibilities of all parties.’
Mr. Furbert said he would like to see the ministry’s form before predicting what he might do to government relations with unions.
But he added that he would like to see a “better social climate” coming out of the department.
He explained: “It will concern the laws in force and will not only apply to unions, but also to employers.”
Mr. Oppenheim also confirmed that an order on the minimum hourly wage will be filed in the coming months.