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May 4, 2015

Will N.T.U.C.B. Join A National Protest of Petrocaribe Loan Act?

Marvin Mora

There are a number of issues that remain unresolved for the N.T.U.C.B.  Mora stated that the unions are concerned about the inability of the government to start consultations on the year-old Occupational Safety and Health Bill. In respect of the Petrocaribe Loans Act, however, the N.T.U.C.B. president reiterated the unions’ support for the program and what it is doing. All of that while distinguishing it from their insistence against the passage of the Petrocaribe Loans Act.  Mora also discussed reports that the unions were to participate in last Wednesday’s impromptu demonstration by the P.U.P. outside the Biltmore Plaza; and the chances they will participate in any national demonstration if the Government does not repeal the Act.

 

Marvin Mora, President, N.T.U.C.B.

“The first is that the Petrocaribe bill itself and the fund are two different things. The Petrocaribe fund itself an initiative and the way it was planned out and agreed to by the government of Belize and Venezuela is something that the trade union supports, fully supports it. But in terms of the bill and what it does for accountability and transparency and how it flies in the face of all that the trade union has stood for in 2005 and 2010, obviously the union cannot see how we can reconcile our differences in that. Obviously, we’ve had a couple participation in some of the initiatives that are within the Petrocaribe fund itself—not the bill—and one of them is the participation in the Belize Infrastructure Limited. And even though we have our misgivings on it, we are in there because we want to make sure that accountability and transparency still is the order of the day. Actually the Unions’ participation is something that we never could sit down and pan out because it happened sudden and you know how the trade union works; there must be consensus in a mass event like that. So we never did agree that we were going to go. We support morally of course the position taken by the Opposition because it’s streamline with the position that we are taking in that regards, but of course from different angles. We are looking at the best interests of the workers and there are workers issues that need to be addressed within that same context of the bill. That is the trade union’s stance. The stance of the Opposition nay be far different than good.”

 

Reporter

“In that sense then, are you prepared to join their call for a demonstration in twenty-one days or thereabout? The prime minister has said that he will not repeal the bill. Are you prepared to join in a possible national demonstration in that regard?”

 

Marvin Mora

“The trade union congress leaves all options open and we will have to take a look at it, discuss it, trash it out amongst the delegation and once we agree to it, more than likely it will happen. But not until that consolidated and collectively thought process has been expended, then we go through that.”

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