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Jan 27, 2005

GOB employees will walk out on Friday

Story PictureIt represents the vast majority of government employees countrywide, and after more than a week of hard talk, the Public Service Union is walking the walk. In a press release issued this afternoon, the PSU stated that it has:

“noted government’s apparent inflexible position and therefore in strong solidarity with the National Trade Union Congress of Belize has called for shutdown on Friday twenty-eight January 2005 until more genuine commitments are reached.”

Talks between government, PSU officials and other representatives of Belize’s labour movement broke down on Tuesday in deadlock. The unions have demanded that the government implement various political and financial reforms, roll back recently legislated tax increases and implement contracted salary increases for teachers and public officers. This afternoon, President of the PSU, Dylan Reneau, told News 5 that more than six thousand public officers are being asked not to report to work on Friday.

Dylan Reneau, President, Public Service Union
?It?s a part of our plan, which basically has been put in place to first have this dialogue to make resolutions to them. The time frame for it is certainly dependent on the Prime Minister. If he continues to hold fast in his position and does not want to compromise, which we are prepared to do. Then we could have this thing going on for a little longer.?

Janelle Chanona
?Today it appears that the BNTU is willing to make some kind of compromise agreement with the Government. Is that not a mixed message now??

Dylan Reneau
?I reiterate. It?s a part of our plan. We are implementing it. I told you just a few minutes ago that we are willing to compromise if the Prime Minister is willing to compromise. We could bring this thing to a closure and all parties will be happy and the country will be moving in the right direction.?

Janelle Chanona
?When are you prepared to take these actions??

Dylan Reneau
?Well, we have a plan. Tomorrow definitely we will have a shutdown of the public service. Thereafter we have some meetings to discuss and deliberate what is the status and then we?ll move on from there.?

?All the public officers are wearing yellow ribbons to show solidarity for our action. I am also wearing a particular pin which says, ?If you don?t stand for something, you?ll fall for anything? and that?s a legitimate message that we as union members are trying to bring across. We are standing for reform, no taxes, salary increases.?

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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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