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Sep 2, 2016

“Surprised” Trade Union Congress Wanted Senate Inquiry on Immigration

The Senate on Wednesday rejected a motion for a senate select investigation into the Immigration scandal. On Thursday, the Prime Minister announced that the Chamber of Commerce would support a bicameral investigation. The N.T.U.C.B., however, says it was taken by surprise when it found out that the business community has opted for a Joint Select Committee to investigate irregularities at the Immigration Department.  Together, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, the Council of Churches and the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry comprise the social partners.  Prior to a meeting with Prime Minister Barrow on Wednesday, the chamber gave the impression that it was onboard with its sister organizations in demanding a Senate Select Committee to look into the immigration scandal.  When PM Barrow stated during his press conference on Thursday that the business community preferred a joint investigation, the N.T.U.C.B. was taken aback by the sudden change of position.  Today, President Marvin Mora explained.

 

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

“The original position of the N.T.U.C.B. was for it to be handled internally by the Senate rather than it being opened, as the prime minister put it, to a wider body.  And the reason for us, or the reasoning behind that was for it to be an investigation that would be controlled by the Senate and at some point in time we would get more details and a little bit more facts surrounding all those issues within the Immigration Department.  But this suggestion of opening the investigation to a wider body would have to be looked at by the N.T.U.C.B. for them to formulate a position on it.”

 

Marvin Mora

Isani Cayetano

“Now I understand that there is some question or some concern over a position taken by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry.  As a member of the social partners, with regards to this particular situation involving the committee to be formed, can you speak on that?”

 

Marvin Mora

“Definitely.  The initial reaction by some of the union leaders within the N.T.U.C.B., even though we have not really formed any consensus or discussed the issue, the initial reaction is that of surprise.  We are surprised that the chamber on one hand would want to speak to the N.T.U.C.B. and the other partners and get them involved in a campaign to demand transparency and accountability from the government itself and then turn around and now have a meeting with the prime minister and agree to something without really having yet formulated a body to make those consultations.  So to us, it seems to us that the chamber either wants to have a name for themselves or have not a very clear understanding of how collective decisions or collective reasoning works.”

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