THURSDAY, DEC. 20: The Bermuda Trade Union Congress on behalf of its member organizations extends congratulations to the One Bermuda Alliance for their recent election to the Government of Bermuda. As our island continues the work of building a prosperous and progressive society, we the workers stand ready to engage the Government in meaningful, constructive dialogue.

Events of recent years have brought unique challenges and hardships to our community. Perhaps none have born this burden more than our workers. The OBA promised change, rapid job creation, and economic growth. Today, the work to fulfill those promises must begin; the workers of this nation are watching, waiting, and ready to participate in the fulfillment of that promise. Yes, there is much to be done to further improve the quality of labor relations. As we have in the recent past, we call now for the Government to address several key issues.

Our worker’s compensation structures need to be reviewed and modernized.

Bermuda needs to join the global majority in observing International Worker’s Day on May 1st, leaving behind the September Labor Day and its legacy of oppression and bloodshed.

Revisions to the Employment Act are required to ensure Agency Shop rights for all workers.

These issues speak to the overall quality of protection for the rights of all workers in our island. Still, other more specific and equally pressing matters must also be considered. We encourage the Government to be forthright with its plans to revise term limit policies, and carefully examine the potential impact on Bermudian jobs before implementation. Poor working conditions for some classes of contract workers must be brought to light and addressed.

The BTUC is committed to meaningful dialogue with the Government and private sector representatives in an effort to maintain positive and productive industrial relationships. We expect to be consulted early and often as policies are developed that impact those whom we represent. As always, the Congress and its affiliates hold as our first priority the protection of worker’s rights.

Again, congratulations to Premier Cannonier and all elected Members of Parliament. We look forward to working closely with you to build a better Bermuda.