Raymond Rivers Comments on Port Workers CBA Negotiations
Two weeks ago stevedore Raymond Rivers visited this station with his fellow stevedores to “rail up” over the management of Port of Belize Limited’s seeming mistreatment of stevedores working the B.S.I. sugar barge, which resulted in some scuffles and complaints made to Police. But he got the Port’s attention when the Christian Workers’ Union asked to resume negotiations over the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the stick of a notice of a possible strike or other industrial action within twenty-one days. Negotiations have now resumed and are ongoing, and when we met with Rivers, who has been elevated to a place on the negotiating team, today in Corozal, he was singing a tune as sweet as the native cane sugar.
Raymond Rivers, Stevedores’ Negotiator
“Right now we have a clause in the CBA that says we don’t talk nothing external right now, but what I can say, the Port of Belize looks like they want to negotiate and bring the CBA to a close, so I will leave it at that; we have a twenty-one day notice [for] strike on the table any time we want to use it, so I am sure with me around the table – because over the past six years I have been left off the negotiating team because of certain things and the way how Rivers act – but now I am on the team and I am sure that everything will work out, as long as the Port management keeps this good heart that they are projecting to me, so I hope everything will go well.”
Rivers confirmed that past agreements with the Port have been reconsidered as the basis for the new C.B.A., as Port receiver and manager Arturo Vasquez confirmed to us in a recent interview. Labour Commissioner Ivan Williams is, as per his usual role.