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Apr 9, 2018

“Mose” Tops C.W.U. after Election

Three candidates vied for the presidency of the Christian Workers’ Union during Saturday’s annual general meeting at the Bishop Sylvestre Memorial Center in Belize City: activist Moses Sulph, media executive Evan “Mose” Hyde, and Wilmore Staine. Hyde won by a wide margin of three hundred and twenty-eight votes to seventy-two for Staine and thirty-nine for Sulph. Most of the votes were conducted by proxy from among the eight hundred members scattered across the country. It completes what Hyde calls his reluctant entry to the national discussion in the area of unionism. But as he told News Five’s Aaron Humes, he feels it is time for a new beginning for both the Union and the country.

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

After his victory, Evan “Mose” Hyde told us his candidacy was below the radar, but that he is aware of the particular issues besetting the union through a particular friendship. After watching on from the sidelines, he now steps into the spotlight.

 

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

“There were no assumptions – there can be no assumptions. But I felt very comfortable in taking the step to say, listen, put yourself out there to either be rejected or supported, because I believe in what needs to be achieved not just by this union, but by unionism. And this just happens to be where I will put down boots.  The candidacy, I felt, felt very natural because I want to see the C.W.U. win. I want to see it win as an entity and for what it does. And so I jumped in, and like I said to them, even I was not going to be their guy, I wanted them to at least hear my voice, to give me respect for the fact that I was willing to be rejected. But that the message – even if you no really rate me as a person – rate the message, that unionism well done can have meaningful effects on the quality of the people who are participating and committing themselves to solidarity.”

 

A clear majority of C.W.U. members, judging by Saturday’s results, have bought in. So what happens now for someone who readily admits that while he has stood beside some of Belize’s prominent unions and cheered them on, he personally has little grasp of the inner workings of trade unionism? Hyde says he does have a lot to catch up on, but as for those suggesting a streak of vanity or perhaps a jump to something more, they’re barking up the wrong tree.

 

Evan “Mose” Hyde

Evan “Mose” Hyde

“People have a right to think what they want to think, and feel what they feel and be as negative as they want to be or be as positive as they want to be. I could just be logical about it. As I explained to people again, the couple groups that I met – like fame, I common. So I noh put myself into this to try to create hype for me, because I done too common already, and I noh even comfortable with how much I deh out deh sometimes. Can’t look for glory, because if you di look fi glory in this country, you look for power in dis country you jump into the party political process – I da noh wa idiot; dat da weh paat ih happen. So I noh know why you woulda seh you wah find vanity, satisifaction, di get pan di ground with workers and say mek wih rally together and achieve things.  I know weh I noh know. And that da wah good thing to know – weh you no know. I know I know very little, and I know there is a lot to know. So I neva prevent myself as being anybody weh have any long history of handling collective bargaining agreements, negotiating – that dah noh weh I bring to the table. What I told them I bring to the table is a one hundred percent commitment to the concept of solidarity. If we strong, and enough people are around and in fact there are, who wah offer me and be generous with their expertise as to how this works and hopefully I am a quick enough learner. But I think when you have togetherness and that unity, you will get the results you are looking for. I believe in that, I believe we are better.”

 

Hyde inherits a union structure, according to C.W.U. General Secretary and President of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize Floyd Neal, that has some work to do to engage its many members.

 

Floyd Neal

Floyd Neal, General Secretary, Christian Workers’ Union

“The level of members’ engagement is not where we want it to be, so we have some work to do to get members more involved in this Union. Like our theme says, the Union, our Union, is for all ah we – not just me or the officers or my colleagues at the secretariat. We are the least of it – we are necessary but we also need members to be involved. So it is heartening to see the turnout today – we had hoped that the room would have been packed to overflowing, but thanks and welcome for coming.”

 

And there was also encouragement from guest speaker Senior Counsel Lisa Shoman.

 

Lisa Shoman

Lisa Shoman, Guest Speaker

“[Belize was] built on the backs of the unions, and those of you who are here, get it. The point is weh have to happen now, is that we have to go out there and sell to everybody else, so that they believe it the way we do.”

 

Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

 

Hyde succeeds Dale Trujeque. The remainder of the posts up for election was uncontested: First Vice President Elias Heredia, Second Vice President Clyde Young and Trustee James Neal.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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