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Oct 1, 2015

CWU President Anticipates Successful Outcome of Negotiations

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

President of the CWU Audrey Matura will head the negotiating team in discussions of a framework next week. She told News Five that the negotiations have come a long way, and there is hope for very successful discussions leading to a concrete CBA.


Audrey Matura-Shepherd, President, Christian Workers Union

“I’ve done my best to control these men and convince them that there’s a proper way to negotiate, a professional way. I said you can’t throw that out of the door by coming and telling us its business as usual because I will not be able to control the actions of these men because after eleven years that’s it for them. You could hear some horror stories of what they’ve gone through, and as I found out they didn’t even know MOUs were signed behind their backs. So I inherited a unit that is filled with distrust so we had to bring them on board. In fairness to him he did hear us out and we reached a compromise, and the compromise is that okay…all the documents that were signed that they wanted us to just go through we will acknowledge that they are there. We will start afresh with a framework. We sent it to Port of Belize. Yesterday we finally got their counter-proposal. They put in some key issues and now we are setting a date for next week when we will meet and agree on the final points and after that we literally go into negotiating the CBA. I think we’ve come a long way. I know that there were some stevedores who were upset because they think that we were too patient. But we worked the process. The first step is not to go and break up everything. The first step is to dialogue. You don’t reach the point of having to strike, which is the extreme, until all prospects have broken down.”

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