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Jan 14, 2016

CWU & FCIB Workers Negotiations Nearing Conclusion

The Christian Workers Union and CIBC First Caribbean International Bank are concluding its negotiations on an exit package for some sixty of the bank’s employees. In late December last year, the bank announced that it was officially closing its doors in Belize on Friday, January twenty-ninth, 2016. Several protests were staged last year by the employees whose future was uncertain since Heritage Bank is buying the assets of FCIB but is not assuming all of FCIB’s human resources. News Five got an update on the negotiations from CWU President Audrey Matura-Shepherd.

 

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

Audrey Matura-Shepherd, President, CWU

“There has been conclusion of negotiation; the only thing that had to be done was the fine-tuning of a document. There should be plans for a signing and what has happened is that we went on a break, meaning I got my leave from the union for a while and it overlapped with our general secretary. On Monday, they should have concluded everything before our general secretary left; but it didn’t so now we are going to work out the new date. But that’s in the making. I don’t really want to go into the details because one, the members of that unit have not mandated me to say anything in detail; and two, until we have it signed up then we’ll make it public. And three, we know that we got the mandate, petitions from our members to settle it, but I think out of respect, we wait to go through the process so that it is made known. If the bank wants to make it known before because clearly I was surprised how much media house called and said they knew about it; they surely didn’t know about it through the union. So when the time comes, that will be dealt with. But there was need to conclude that and the membership signed a petition as to what their position was. And as usual, I keep saying, anything our units do, I have to get the mandate of the membership. It is not me say on my own this is what I will do. And when it gets controversial, I get it in writing so that they don’t say it is the president who made that decision on their own. When they decided to strike, when they decided to protest, when they decided to do any industrial action; it was not the union that forced them to do anything. It was they who did their thing and I am proud of them for standing up, proud of them.”

 

Duane Moody

“I know you don’t want to go into any details, but are they satisfied with what they are getting?”

 

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

“I will not answer anything until we reach that final step.”

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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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