Dale Trujeque Rises to Lead C.W.U.; Says Teachers are Example for Working Force
Veteran labour officer, human resources manager and labour and industrial relations expert Dale Trujeque now heads the Christian Workers’ Union. Elections took place at the annual general meeting over the weekend at the UWI Open Campus Auditorium in Belize City. Trujeque defeated Wilmore Staine in a balloting and succeeds attorney Audrey Matura after a three-year term. Trujeque stopped by News Five’s offices this afternoon and spoke of the importance of the labour movement at a crucial time for Belizean society. He said the brave stance of the Belize National Teachers’ Union in the last few months sets an important precedent for all workers and their unions.
Dale Trujeque, President, Christian Workers’ Union
“We’re at a critical point now, because we have a budget coming that could either positively impact workers or negatively impact workers; either way, the labour movement becomes important, either way. And I hope the day will come that the entity that represents all of us – the N.T.U.C.B. – can make Government and the other partners in leadership in this country realize that the labour movement is critical to this country moving forward in every respect, and we have to develop new models of how we include labour in the things that happen on the ground. Otherwise, every five or ten years, you will have the kind of agitation that came about from the teachers. And I kept my corner, but I always felt that the teachers were in the position of right, and I always felt that those who were decrying the teachers, they did not understand that the laws do allow them to do what they did – to speak out on national issues, to withhold their services on national issues. And you only know this by somebody stepping out and testing it: they tested it, and now the precedent is there for the other unions in the country – but for workers at large, which the N.T.U.C.B. represents, all the workers in the country – that sometimes, you have to move out of the comfort of the workplace and pay, and participate in the national discussion. And if participating in the national discussion means you will have to protest, you will have to dissent that is your Constitutional right and what happened with the teachers was proof in the pudding.”
Rounding out the executive are holdovers Basil Brannon as vice-president and Stephany Gongora as union organizer; Ella Waight as treasurer and trustees Phillipa McDonald, Deon Pitter and Brian Duncan. Further elections for the vice-president and organizer posts will take place at a special meeting later this year where a revised Union constitution will be submitted to members for approval.