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Nov 17, 2014

SICB to Hold Meeting With Parties

Gabriel Martinez

Faced with an ultimatum from the farmers, SICB Chairman Gabriel Martinez promised to ‘try his best’ to call a meeting before November twenty-fifth to facilitate a way forward. It’s a tough position for the regulatory body because strictly speaking it is a commercial agreement between two parties. Because of the no compromise stance taken by both the BSI and the BSCFA…to accede to one would mean going against the other, and any move forward is bound to be a minefield. Still, the SICB has been packed into the unpleasant corner, and meet it must – hoping for the best while fully cognizant of the worst.

 

Gabriel Martinez, Chairman, Sugar Industry Control Board

“The best case is that we start a crop on time, because everyone has realized the losses that were incurred last year, and I guess that is the centrepiece of the overall sentiments here at the Assembly, and every time you talk to farmers they want to start on time. I guess that issue has been well taken by the leaders in the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, hence the reason for stating that they want to start crop on time, of course with some kind of protection, what they call the interim agreement. And of course we are going to look at it. The worst case scenario…I wouldn’t even want to think about it, because farmers have different feelings and at certain instances they have displayed their strong personalities, but I guess that the announcement made today by the BSCFA that they are in agreement with starting a crop on time will do a lot to get the farmers in tune and in line with more dialogue and better results at the end of the day.”

 

In related news the National Trade Union Congress of Belize today denounced the proposal by B.S.I./A.S.R. to negotiate directly with farmers; that on their minds the bedrock of collective representation and bargain.

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