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Feb 23, 2015

P.B.L. Calls C.W.U. to the Negotiating Table

Vasquez says that if its fresh water that’s the problem, he’s willing to provide it every day. But is there another agenda at play? Currently a collective bargaining agreement with PBL is still being worked on, though Vasquez says he hasn’t been able to get CWU officials to the negotiating table since last year.


Arturo Vasquez, Executive Director, PBL

“To be honest I don’t know. If there is an agenda behind this, I have no idea. If they are trying to bring any body to the table, they need to be bringing their leaders to the table because as I’ve said on previous interviews, since the beginning of last year, I haven’t had any contact with the president at all. And following the interview the other day, still none. So I don’t know whether the interview made any difference or not—as far as I am concerned. Here at the Port, I have not heard from the leaders.”


Arturo Vasquez

Mike Rudon

“Let me clarify just because we have heard from the president of the CWU who has maintained that negotiating is going on with the stevedores, with the Port of Belize Limited…but you are saying that there has been none?”


Arturo Vasquez

“Zero, zero, zero. Zero. I said this before. I think what she said in her interview was that they are doing their own negotiations; that the stevedores are putting their own collective bargaining agreement together. And if that is the case…that’s what she claims. And if you want to present your own collective bargaining agreement, go ahead and do it, but we have been in discussions. We have signed on different agreements that we have moved ahead with. So if you are going to a new bargaining agreement, I would imagine that everything that you would have agreed to on the first one has to come to an end. Don’t you think? Because it is a set of things that we had agreed on; we have already agreed on several of them and signed off on them. For example, their back pays for all the years that they haven’t gotten. There were a number of things that we had decided on. So the negotiations were in process. There was a document on the table that we were working with. I gather from her comment that they were doing their own CBA which they will then present to us. I am still waiting for that; I haven’t seen it. Since the interview that she had to the public, I have not heard or seen anything from the union; nothing at all.”


This afternoon, we note, CWU President Audrey Matura-Shepherd did meet with Port of Belize officials. Where the water is concerned, we understand that a three-day probation is underway where PBL will provide stevedores with five gallon bottles of purified water, on the condition that the CWU is responsible for any bottles that go missing. At the end of that probation period, the Union will determine if it wants to stick with the bottles, or go back to pouches.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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