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Mar 20, 2017

Floyd Neal: Beware the NTUCB ‘tiger’

An extraordinary general meeting of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize took place over the weekend in Belize City, at the headquarters of one of its strongest member unions, the Belize National Teachers’ Union. Its purpose was to elect two officers to complete the executive council – a president and a treasurer, vacant since the annual general meeting in December, when former president Marvin Mora was stripped after it was found that he had over served his time on the executive. Incumbent first vice-president and holdover Jacqueline Willoughby competed against general secretary of the Christian Workers’ Union, Floyd Neal, but Neal won by forty-five votes to twenty-one. Hubert Enriquez was named uncontested to the post of treasurer. In his first media briefing in his new role, Neal this afternoon vowed the coming of a new day for the formerly “toothless” leading labour umbrella organization.

 

Floyd Neal

Floyd Neal, President, National Trade Union Congress of Belize

“The narrative out there, the image most Belizean workers have of T.U.C., is of a toothless tiger – we need to change that; we need to change that. So my own thinking is that we need to get the word out that the days of T.U.C. being a toothless tiger are behind us; and we need to do things, we need to take steps, we need to forge partnerships which will let the powers-that-be recognize that it’s a new day. But again, we need to have that conversation; we need to have that discussion at the executive meeting table, along with the G.C. – how do we change the narrative, how do we change the image T.U.C. currently has.”

 

The Congress’ executive is rounded out by Willoughby and Lorelei Westby as vice-presidents; Patrick Balan and Fayne Nicasio as general secretary and assistant; Sharon Frazer as deputy treasurer to Enriquez; Edmund Zuniga as auditor, Jose Escalera as councilor, Ramiro Gongora and Daniel Luna as trustees, Eldred Neal as director of education and Marianne Vasquez as director of general affairs. All will serve a two-year term.

 

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