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May 24, 2017

N.T.U.C.B. Tackles Hard Questions After Incendiary Neal/Mora Recording

The decision-making body of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize met on Saturday at its headquarters here in Belize City.  That meeting came hard on the heels of Public Service Union President Eldred Neal’s suspension from office for derogatory comments made against the Garifuna community.  While the N.T.U.C.B. acknowledges the autonomy of the individual unions, the burning issue of racism within the labor movement is taking center stage.  Concerns arising from those inflammatory remarks have prompted the umbrella organization to convene a special meeting this Saturday during which the matter will be discussed in full.  N.T.U.C.B. President Floyd Neal admits that the recorded conversation has caused a stir among fellow unionists.

 

Floyd Neal

Floyd Neal, President, N.T.U.C.B.

“We had a regular general council meeting of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize.  The issue of that recording and some of the comments from identifiable voices that were heard did come up and the council, in its wisdom, decided that this was a sufficiently grave matter that we need to have a meeting with just that on the agenda.  That meeting occurs this Saturday at the Trade Union Congress Secretariat on Kut Avenue.  We believe that we need to afford the unionists whose voices were heard on the recording an opportunity to explain themselves and set the record straight before the T.U.C. pronounces on the whole matter.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Is this the first, as a unionist yourself, you’ve had to deal with an issue such as this where there’s either racism or their seems to be infighting among different groups within the trade union movement?”

 

Floyd Neal

“Infighting no, but the content of the recording was so disturbing on so many levels.  So we did touch on it briefly at the general council meeting this past Saturday and we decided that we need to de-escalate this situation.  We need to have a cleansing and the way to start, for that process to continue, is to have a frank discussion.  We invite all of the people who were heard on that recording to come, as I say, talk for themselves.  Let’s have a frank discussion and we decide what to do after that, but people need to be heard, people need to be given an opportunity to be able to explain themselves.”

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