Chris Furbert, BIU president *File photo
Chris Furbert, BIU president *File photo

TUESDAY, FEB. 5: This press statement is intended to clear up my involvement in the Work Permit Stakeholder Group. As President of the Bermuda Industrial Union and a member of the Bermuda Trade Union Congress, I was invited by the then Minister of Economy, Trade & Industry, the Hon. Patrice Minors to participate in the discussion on the draft document entitled "Work Permit Policies 2012". On October 12, 2012 there was a stakeholder consultation meeting organized by Minister Minors to review the document.

We started the day's consultation process with the draft document and by end of the day there were some amendments made to the document, so in my opinion it was a work in progress as there was no final document produced by Minister Minors. It is my understanding that the consensus was as outlined in the document, that "unless the work permit holder is otherwise exempt he, or she will be limited to a maximum term of ten years, although there were some employers in the room who wanted "term limits" removed.

Minister Fahy is misleading the public by insinuating that I and Mr. Anthony Wolfe, as representatives of the Bermuda Trade Union Congress, participated in a more recent discussion on the document produced by the former Minister. However we have heard Premier Mr. Craig Cannonier tell the media last week Friday, February 1, 2013 that consultation took place under the PLP Government.

Premier Cannonier also suggested that no further consultation was necessary and that "it was time to move swiftly and get this done".

As President of the Bermuda Industrial Union, I am on record as stating that term limits must stay to protect Bermudian workers until the work permit policies in Bermuda are improved upon at the Department of Immigration.