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Jun 24, 2014

Christian Workers Union is back in the fold of the N.T.U.C.B.

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

The Christian Workers Union has been accepted back into the fold of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize after being booted out of the umbrella organization, following a failed congress in October 2013.  The expulsion of the C.W.U. came on the heels of a strict notice which required a general assembly to elect new executives as part of its obligations.  That charge, though unsuccessful, was led by union representative Dion Pitters.  By mid-November a new president had succeeded Antonio Gonzalez as head of the union and since then Audrey Matura-Shepherd has been working closely with other C.W.U. executives to regain stability.  This afternoon, she told News Five that despite being allowed back into the N.T.U.C.B. there is much work that needs to be done to effectively use the platform in addressing national issues.

 

Audrey Matura-Shepherd, President, Christian Workers Union

“After I assumed the presidency of the Christian Workers Union one of our first tasks was to try and build back relations with the entities with which we previously had relationships, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize being one.  Being the umbrella organization, we felt that it was important for us to be part of that body because a lot of work goes on through that body and so we made approaches to them to ask them for us to be returned to membership.  Of course, a lot of outstanding issues were available that we had to deal with and so we subsequently held several meetings and correspondence via emails and phone calls and now we’ve been invited back into the National Trade Union Congress and we are still now a member of the congress.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“What does that now mean for the CWU in terms of the direction it is taking?”

 

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

“Well we are on the track of building and trying to get stronger.  A lot of the work is really occurring behind the scenes because we have to bring back our membership.  We have to go through the different branches, bring them back into the fold and at the same time we have to comply with our responsibilities to the National Trade Union Congress.  But it also means that through the National Trade Union Congress we have many more access to information, training, even just basic support when we negotiate different things.  It’s good, it’s good.  It means that we are building from strength to strength, I mean it won’t be overnight that everything happens, it’s not even a year yet since I assumed the presidency and we’re just hoping that through the National Trade Union Congress we’ll be able to also address national issues that they address without us having to expend ourselves so much trying to address everything singularly.”

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