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Oct 5, 2015

CWU/POB Agree On CBA Framework

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

Port of Belize Limited and the Christian Workers Union have reached significant accord in the framework to negotiating the CBA governing stevedores. That’s good news in a negotiating process which was stagnant for many months. Today CWU President Audrey Matura-Shepherd told News Five that she is surprised and pleased by the gains that have already been made.

 

Audrey Matura-Shepherd, President, CWU

“I think we have good news when it comes to Port of Belize Limited and we’ve been trying to hammer out a framework against which we will negotiate and it had gone fairly quickly because when we first met the eighteenth of September, at that meeting we presented our proposal and thereafter, Port of Belize counter proposed on what they wanted to add. So today’s meeting was for us to see what we proposed what they proposed and reach agreement. And thank god we really reached good agreement and tomorrow we hope to sign the framework agreement and then based on that framework, negotiate the CBA. And I think that the spirit was one of cooperation and I am hoping that it remains like that. So that’s the good news.”

 

Mike Rudon

“Could you tell us what happened as regards, specifically, the four memorandums of understanding between the CWU of the past and the Port of Belize Limited management?”

 

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

“Yes, while the good news for us is that what we did, we created a document that says look we recognised these things happened before; we recognise that that was what was in place. We are mindful and aware that it took place; however, from this day forward, when we sign this agreement, this is what will take effect. And that’s what we wanted. We want them to say, we noh gwen go look for a piece of something here, there and everywhere. This document encompasses all that is important and what is in it has a lot to do with all those documents, but it is in one document so that we move forward. And the view of it is that look, we are setting a framework within which we will negotiate, but the end result has to be that we reach a CBA. A CBA at Port of Belize since it became privatized has never existed; eleven years without a CBA. So with the team that they have and the team that we have, we really and truly are hoping with all best and all positive attitude that we reach agreement that will benefit both entities—the workers and the employers.”

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