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Dec 8, 2015

Stevedores’ Strike Results in Cargo Vessel Returning to Miami

For the first time in history on Monday, a vessel, the Caribe Navigator from Miami, sailed away from the Belize Port without offloading its cargo following a seven-hour strike taken by stevedores attached to gang number seven at the Port of Belize. The industrial action, discovered to have been sanctioned by the Christian Workers Union minutes before the vessel departed, prompted an emergency meeting between executives from the Port of Belize and the CWU. When the matter at hand could not have been resolved, the Labor Commissioner, the Port Commissioner and the Commissioner of Police were called in and a second meeting was held to discuss the way forward. That meeting ended late into the night and according to Port C.E.O. Arturo “Tux” Vasquez, they will be looking into establishing an alternative when stevedores strike.


Arturo “Tux” Vasquez

Arturo “Tux” Vasquez, C.E.O./Receivership, Port of Belize

“When we had the first interview we had already met with the Christian Workers Union where we had tried every effort to get them back to work so that we can continue with the ongoing negotiations. That was not successful and as a result, we had already advised the Labor Commissioner and the Port Commissioner and also the Police Commissioner as to the situation. So what we had later on yesterday was a meeting with the Labor Commissioner, the Port Commissioner and the Police. And basically what the port has done at this point…well as you know the ship has sailed. There were some discussions as to whether the ship was going to return and as to whether the police would have taken it on as an illegal action, but the shipping agent had decided that it had gone so they were not prepared to turn back. But I believe that in the future there is quite a possibility that there has to be an alternative as to what will happen when we have a situation like this. That is something that the Port Commissioner has agreed that they need to look into and to establish some sort of alternative to when we have something like this. The Port has since written to the Labor Commissioner asking for intervention for them to see how they could resolve that situation. It is a labor issue; it is something that you have workers that are refusing to work. So we believe that we have done all we can to try and see if we could have gotten them back. It seems to us that despite the fact that in all our discussions and all our documentations that we have signed between the Christian Workers Union and the Port of Belize is that we will try to make every effort for strikes to be minimal because strikes do not help the negotiating process. There is absolutely no way that we could be expected to continue proper negotiation if in fact we are being held at ransom so to speak, as hostages so to speak.”

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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3 Responses for “Stevedores’ Strike Results in Cargo Vessel Returning to Miami”

  1. Truthbetold says:

    This was an illegal strike. The strikers should be charged, or better still fired, and be made to pay the lost costs to the shipping company, the port, the importers and the government through loss of revenue. These people are not irreplaceable, rather replace them with people who are looking to work. This socialistic attitude needs to be contained, it is the average man in the street who feels the effect of these ill thought out actions.

  2. Ricky Malthus says:

    Arturo, tuxie boy, you are really over your head but you and all the commissioners in the world cannot deter an industrial action. Industrial actions are a human rights issue that has to be addressed by competent minds to provide justice to the aggrieved workers and their demands versus what the establishment wants. Tuxie, my boy, you have to go back to school on this one as old as you are!!!!!

  3. Marie says:

    What stupidness is this, both parties need to come to an agreement. With ship arriving and turned away everyone looses, why chop off your mouth to spite your face. Wow!!###

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