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May 16, 2017

Neal Versus Palacio; He Appeals Over ‘Power-Seeking’ Ploy

Luke Palacio

The meeting of Eldred Neal and Luke Palacio this afternoon, when the Joint Unions Negotiating Team convened at the B.N.T.U. headquarters here in Belize City, was likely an awkward encounter in the wake of Neal’s blunt remarks about the outgoing union president.  Palacio, as many already know, is a proud member of the Garifuna community who was instrumental in leading the teachers into an eleven-day strike last October against the Government.  To hear Neal disparage his fellow union brother in such manner is disconcerting.  In his defense, the beleaguered P.S.U. president says that it is all a carefully orchestrated ploy to unseat him as head of the union.

 

Isani Cayetano

“When I listened to this conversation, you referred on several occasions to the fact that the Garinagu are a power hungry people and you went as far as saying that arguably the biggest of them at this point is Luke Palacio.  You sat a few hours ago at the table with members of the Joint Unions Negotiating Team which includes the B.N.T.U. President, Mr. Palacio, fully aware of what you said in that conversation because it has been disseminated widely.  What was your feeling being able to look across the table and look at this person who you named openly as a power hungry individual, in light of everything that he has done in terms of union activism, on behalf of the people of Belize?”

 

Eldred Neal

Eldred Neal, President, Public Service Union

“Well, how do I feel?  The same level of discontent I lent to the entire documentation is what I shared with him at the table this morning.  Open to it, and in fact he suggested that it’s your voice Eldred.  And I agreed it’s my voice, but please let’s render the idea of the entire content of the conversation rather than the portion that you are tasked to listen to.  And this is the reality.  If I’m trying to tarnish your character, would I put anything other than that out there?  This ploy was fully developed and to hear a segment, and I trust you guys have it being played with individuals in the conversation suggesting that they don’t know where it came from, it was a mistake.  How could a mistake be doctored and circulated?  But was I not suppose to call this for what it is?  This is union-busting at its highest level and how I feel about sitting in an audience with Brother Luke?  Thoroughly humbled and extremely apologetic that my name and my character can be defamed overnight in a ploy in which folks are simply seeking power.”

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