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Mar 20, 2019

NTUCB Takes on ComPol Chester Williams, Defends Police Association

Elena Smith

On Tuesday the National Trade Union Congress of Belize fired off a press statement in support of the Police Association against what it describes as the heavy-handedness on the part of the recently appointed Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams. The Association has filed a legal claim against ComPol Williams for shortening the president’s tenure through a statutory instrument. The N.T.U.C.B. says that it stands in full solidarity with the Association and hopes that the proceedings in the court will yield positive results in the right direction for the Association. Today President of the B.N.T.U., Senator Elena Smith reiterated the N.T.U.C.B.’s position, stating that Williams has no right to interfere in the Association’s business.

 

Elena Smith, Senator for NTUCB & Civil Society Steering Committee

“We have the association who should be a body that is able to make decisions on its own. Here we have the Commissioner sort of interfering in the work of the association. We understand and know that there are certain levels of management that cannot be members of the association and so if that is we are understanding that they are requesting a financial report from the president. If I don’t contribute to a fund how do I have the right to request that you provide me with information on that fund? I have no business in that. I don’t contribute. It is the members who contribute to the fund and so it should be the members who request a financial reporting from the association, not anyone outside of that. It is not the department or ministry paying for those persons’ union or association dues. It is the members themselves. There are a lot of things that have been happening that makes it seem that as if though the Commissioner or the post of commissioner whoever that person is or was, that they tend to think that they can overrule or override the work of the association. That should never be so. It should not be so. Even though the association cannot be part of the NTUCB as a union or unions, we understand their fight and we understand what they are doing. We cannot allow our employers to want to come and take over or unions and associations and not allow the workers to have some avenue for which they can share their concerns and those concerns can then be responded by the association.”

 

The N.U.T.C.B. will further discuss the matter on Thursday.

 

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