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Apr 9, 2018

Finally, a C.B.A. for “Essential” Stevedores?

A top priority for the new president, as it has been for his predecessors, is settling the long-standing dispute between the Port of Belize Limited and the stevedores represented by the union. Though it may feel like forever, it has actually been twelve years since there was a collective bargaining agreement. Hyde says both sides will now have to put in serious effort to end the impasse, but the stevedores do hold an important bargaining chip – their categorization as an “essential service.”

 

Evan “Mose” Hyde

Evan “Mose” Hyde, President, Christian Workers’ Union

“You have to understand that I have to get prepped on where things are, I noh know all the details ah weh things deh. The one commitment that I have made to the brothers on the waterfront and the message is: effort will not be the problem; commitment will not be the problem. And I believe that right will prevail. They have been categorized by legislation as an essential service; so as an essential service mek wi see where they are honored as such and treated as such. I mean [even] workers who are not even essential service should have the benefit of a collective bargaining agreement; that is their right, that what you’d call economic justice to have that in place. The absence of that means that something is not right and it has to be corrected. And hopefully, the parties involved all accept that this is an unacceptable state, and we must commit ourselves to working through the finer details and doing that in the spirit of making sure that we have a just relationship here. I’m sure that we can get that done.”

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