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Aug 16, 2013

Stevedores want Christian Workers Union Execs to resign

Dion Pitter

The executive of the Christian Workers Union, led by president Antonio Gonzalez, has been experiencing an upheaval within its membership, particularly from a gang of stevedores, who contend that they are not being properly represented at the negotiation table with Port of Belize Limited.  Over a hundred stevedores working at the facility are calling for Gonzalez’s resignation, along with General Secretary James McFoy, whom they say have remained in office for more than a decade with nothing substantive to show for their tenure.  A meeting was held at the Bishop Sylvester Memorial Hall on Thursday evening to discuss the way forward, in light of a recent release from the National Trade Union Congress of Belize indefinite suspension of the C.W.U.’s membership.  News Five spoke with union activists, Dion Pitter and Raymond Rivers, to get an update on the ongoing situation.

 

Dion Pitter, Stevedore

“The meeting mi lovely because we had members of the stevedore and we had representatives from each one of the unions out there talking to us, the quote the law to wi, di instruct wi, di guide wi. So yesterday meeting we reached out to some key persons yesterday so it mi healthy.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“In terms of the removal of Mister Gonzalez and Mister McFoy, where do you guys stand in terms of that particular issue?”

 

Dion Pitter

“The word concern pop ina my head because who dah di union weh send the letter to him? I think that is the same letter who used to govern him. Then I know that fi we cry important. So that letter weh we send out dah strength fi we because there is a concern there and they will pay us attention and listen to wi so that healthy.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“How does this now affect the fate of the collective bargaining agreement with the Port of Belize Limited?”

 

Dion Pitter

“We noh di worry about that yo know. We noh di worry about that. We need to clean up fi we house because fi we problem dah representation towards that C.B.A.”

 

Isani Cayetano

Raymond Rivers

“Now that you’ve realized those rights, what are you guys doing now to change the current situation in terms of either removing these two individuals or having them fly the straight and narrow?”

 

Dion Pitter

“Fi we position is two ah dehn need fi go. That dah the position weh we take totally. So we could talk down that line. We can’t talk down no line about 2014; that out of the question because dehn bally violate for over fifteen years. And we young stevedore realize that that dah fi we concern. So we di take it on for all the rest of organization dehn and we still pledge pan unu fi come and help we.”

 

Raymond Rivers, Stevedore

“I di tell di the people, the nine entitities under CWU, Mister Gonz dah wah tricky man and Mister McFoy. The nine entities around we none of them got nothing to say about when dehn go deal with fi dehn CBA. But stevedore have something fi say because when he go in front of the receivership dah PBL, this man dah like wah ants. When yo crush ants, dah soh dehn crush he.” 

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