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Oct 3, 2018

What Happens Should Port of Belize Preempt Pending Strike Action?

The Port of Belize and its attendant stevedores are at an impasse over working hours that that should be covered per ship.  The management of the company which remains in receivership maintains that any shift exceeding fifteen hours is outside of the labor laws.  On the other hand, the Christian Workers Union which represents waterfront workers argues that the existing arrangement for the loading and unloading of cargo from ships at dock, has been that way from time immemorial.  Those opposing views have led to a deadlock and a twenty-one day notice is in effect ahead of industrial action.  But what if the port, in an anticipatory move, were to take action ahead of the strike, since stevedoring is now considered an essential service?  It’s a question that was put to CWU President Evan ‘Mose’ Hyde.


Isani Cayetano

“If the Port of Belize was to take preemptive action ahead of this twenty-one day period, perhaps to shut out the stevedores from reporting to work, let’s say on day nineteen, for argument’s sake, what happens then, because that effectively would kill whatever industrial action you would have taken?”


Evan ‘Mose’ Hyde

Evan ‘Mose’ Hyde, President, Christian Workers Union

“We can’t speak for what port might do or might not do and I won’t strategically respond to hypothetical situations because as you would understand we have to have our own in-house planning and strategizing.  So what we feel to be the highest priority is for our members out there to know that their negotiating team is in a position where it finds itself with its backs against the wall.  It has been placed there by PBL because their reluctance to move on to issues in which our members have told us are very important to them.”

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