Bermuda’s unions used to stand and fight for workers rights. In more recent times that has become less evident. The unions have increasingly been criticized as being less focused on labour and truly doing what is in the best interest of their memberships and more focused on furthering a political agenda. Then there’s this.
Mr Furbert also noted immigration issues, saying that someone “very dear to us” had his work permit expire in July and has yet to hear if it will be extended.
We hear regularly about the need for Bermudian jobs and putting Bermudians first. We watched as parliament was shut down over the pathways to status initiative. Then, in a labour day speech BIU President Chris Furbert laments the lack of a work permit renewal? Huh?
Typically the focus has been on why people on work permits need to stay here so long. Why was a qualified Bermudian not found to replace them? Why hasn’t a Bermudian been trained to fill their role? Why are foreigners being prioritized over Bermudians? These have always been valid questions that need to be asked.
We can’t expect that in every case a work permit holder should be replaced by a Bermudian. However, we should expect a rigorous process to ensure that Bermudians aren’t being passed over, discriminated against or disadvantaged unfairly. In cases where a rigorous process has been in place and an individual has made meaningful contributions to our society then a pathway to status should be justified.
Typically, the BIU has been one of the loudest voices criticizing work permit holders and it definitely has been a loud voice in criticizing a pathway to status. Put Bermudians first, then focus on foreigners we hear. Make jobs for Bermudians before foreigners we hear. Then, one day, they’re saying we should be putting a foreigner first. Did hell suddenly freeze over or is the BIU giving up all attempts to hide their political agenda?