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Feb 10, 2014

Cooler heads prevailing in ongoing negotiations between CitCo and CWU

There are ongoing negotiations between the Belize City Council and the Christian Workers Union concerning the fate of twenty-six security officers, made redundant by the municipal government.  Mayor Darrell Bradley says that the decision to release the men is part of ongoing belt-tightening measures being taken to reduce the council’s overhead expenses.  For the better part of last week, Mayor Bradley found himself in a heated exchange with CWU, President Audrey Matura-Shepherd, over the abrupt severance of the CitCo employees.  They met again over the weekend and according to the mayor, cooler heads prevailed.

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Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

Darrell Bradley

“I had a very productive meeting with Mrs. Matura-Shepherd over the weekend.  We actually met for about two and a half hours and we exchanged views in relation to how we see the situation and we expressed a commitment to working together to try to reach a solution that would satisfy these workers but would also be in the interest of the city council and we are approaching this from that spirit so that we will work together.  This is not an adversarial process, it’s a very difficult situation.  We are making strides on behalf of the city that we think that would put the city in a good financial position.  Likewise, Mrs. Matura-Shepherd is working her best to advance the interest of the persons that she represents and I feel that, and I have always said, that she comes to this with a good spirit and a good heart and that is something that we can listen to always.  That is something that we can work with and I think that between she and I we can come to an agreeable situation.  We left the situation on Saturday with the view that we would meet today at twelve o’clock.  She’s going to bring additional representatives together with her.  We’re going to provide some financial information that they had requested to assist them in making or clarifying some of their positions.  We also put forward several things over the weekend that we think could move the discussions further along and I’m hoping that we could reach some sort of agreement or settlement on all outstanding issues, at least by Wednesday.”

 

A release issued by the Christian Workers Union, following this afternoon’s meeting, states that five proposals were tabled before the mayor today and are being looked at favorably.  Meanwhile, Labor Commissioner Ivan Williams has assured the statutory entitlements of the workers, under the Labor Laws, are being properly accounted.

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