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Sep 26, 2016

Can the “Dead” Occupational Safety and Health Bill Be Revived?

Luke Palacio

In his address to the nation, Prime Minister Dean Barrow gave specific examples of Government’s attempts to compromise with the Belize National Teachers’ Union. One is the Occupational Safety and Health Bill, which the unions have championed since its introduction several years ago. According to the Prime Minister, while the Bill died at the end of the last Parliamentary Session while in committee, there are efforts to revive it by fellow trade unionists. In responding to what the P.M. says, B.N.T.U. President Luke Palacio maintains that Government failed to inform the union of this and that made them look like fools.


Luke Palacio, National President, B.N.T.U.

“For the first time we heard on Thursday, despite all the other pronouncements that he had in his response that the OSH Bill would be too costly to implement; that the Chamber is opposed to it, that employers are concerned about all the cost that will be incurred, he never said to them—at least as far as I know in his response—it was on Thursday that he said to us you know what this OSH Bill has to be brought back because it was dead when parliament was dissolved before the last elections. So who is playing games? If the Bill has to go back, why is he trying to make it appear that the B.N.T.U. is being inflexible on a Bill that does not exist in effect.”

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