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Dec 18, 2015

Port C.E.O. Says New Law is Reciprocal

Arturo ‘Tux’ Vasquez

According to Vasquez, the effect of the amended law is reciprocal.  While stevedores cannot just up and strike without due notice, port management can’t simply lock them out from work either.

 

Arturo ‘Tux’ Vasquez, Receiver/C.E.O., Port of Belize

“It doesn’t take away their right to strike.  It does not at all but what it entails now is that there has to be notice.  I think they would have to write the Ministry of Labor, I think, and then there has to be a twenty-one day notice as to when you’re going on strike.  It puts it in a situation where the strike would have to be explained, it has to be understood and then they have twenty-one days to actually put it in effect.  It’s a good thing I would say because it gives all parties a chance to, for lack of a better word, to negotiate, to try to get things right.  But it doesn’t take away their right to strike, none at all.  What the SI would do as well is perhaps, it also would not allow the port to do any lockouts.  So it goes both ways, it goes both ways.  Before this they could strike and we could lockout, but I think it is important and I think it is a good move.  I am sure that the business community for sure would support something like this because I don’t think that a country can be held at ransom for a situation that, I am in the position to say, I think that they are positions that can easily be negotiated once you have the proper time and you are dealing with it in a proper way, a responsible way, I would say.”

 

Negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement have since resumed and a meeting between both parties, including PBL management and the Christian Workers Union, resumed on Tuesday in the absence of CWU President Audrey Matura-Shepherd.

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