THURSDAY, MAY 31: Government today commenced Court proceedings seeking an Order to prevent Kentucky Fried Chicken (Bermuda) Ltd. from any or all actions designed to interfere with or defeat the integrity of the Arbitration process.

By way of notice published in the Gazette on May 4, 2012, the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry declared that a labour dispute exists between the Bermuda Industrial Union (BIU) and Kentucky Fried Chicken (Bermuda) Ltd.

In accordance with provisions of Section 11 as read with Section 5 of the Labour Disputes Act 1992 the Minister appointed Mr. Wendell Hollis as Chairman and George Baisden and Garry Madeiros as members of the Labour Disputes Tribunal.

The terms of reference were established in consultation with both parties.

Minister Minors said, “Last week I formally requested that both parties act in good faith and both desist from taking any further action pending the decision of the arbitrators for the sake of good industrial relations and in accordance with the spirit of the legislation.

I defined further action as – changes to employment contracts, changes to terms and conditions of employment, boycotts and other forms of industrial action.”

It is a matter of public record that on the same day, the BIU moved quickly to put an end to its boycott.

Meanwhile, KFC management advised Labour Relations Officers, via written communication, that for various reasons, and “as a matter of practicality” the company “cannot accommodate the Minister’s request to refrain from implementing changes to employment contracts”.

Minister Minors concluded, “KFC’s actions serve to undermine the arbitration process and notwithstanding the company’s need to operate efficiently it is important that the Government take the necessary steps to preserve the integrity of the process. It is imperative that both management and the Union work with us in the furtherance of an atmosphere of mutual cooperation, confidence and respect for this process. Our aim is to ensure an amicable settlement of this dispute.”