BERMUDA

Dunkley extends olive branch on Pathways initiative

March 16, 2016

As tensions surrounding immigration reform threatening to boil over, the Bermuda Government has offered a series of concessions to its controversial Pathways to Status initiative.

 

The announcement came shortly before the House of Assembly session scheduled for today, which was due to feature a debate on the legislation opposed by hundreds of protesters, was adjourned until Friday by Speaker of the House Randy Horton.

 

Premier Michael Dunkley, announced he had contacted Bermuda Industrial Union president Chris Furbert to lay out the concessions. They would include a three-month delay on implementation of the “15-year pathway” - allowing those who have lived in Bermuda for 15 years to apply for permanent residency - which he revealed had caused the most widespread concern.

 

In the meantime, a working group would be established “comprising representatives from various stakeholders”.The group would offer recommendations on this matter as well as a living wage and training requirements for Bermudians, unscrupulous business tactics that undermine Bermudian labour and summer job opportunities for Bermudians via the international business sector.

Protestors could be breaking the law

March 16, 2016

Protesters who stop work to demonstrate against immigration reform are likely to be breaking the law, according to a ruling from Chief Justice Ian Kawaley.

 

The island’s top judge said it was “strongly arguable” that the withdrawal of labour in “circumstances where it has no connection to a labour dispute” was a breach of section 34 of the Labour Relations Act.

 

However, at the end of a third day of action on the grounds of the House of Assembly yesterday, Chris Furbert, the president of the Bermuda Industrial Union, argued that the protest is in line with Section 10 of the island’s Constitution, which protects the right to assemble.

Bus and Ferry services suspended

March 15, 2016

Bus and ferry service was suspended on Friday, Monday and have been again today; and the Transport Ministry has issued a statement saying “there will be no bus or ferry service until further notice.”

 

A spokesperson said, “The Ministry of Tourism Development and Transport wishes to advise the public that there will be no bus or ferry service until further notice, as a result of the ongoing industrial action. The Ministry apologises for this development and will keep the public advised of the status of service.”

 

The withdrawal of labour - which began last Friday - continues again today, with public transportation services suspended for the third day, while garbage collection has also been suspended for Friday, Monday and today.

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