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Oct 23, 2018

Arturo “Tux” Vasquez: “I think We Are Now on the Same Page”

Arturo ‘Tux’ Vasquez

According to C.E.O. of the Port of Belize Limited, Arturo ‘Tux’ Vasquez, the request for a further reduction in gang size is no longer on the table.  Vasquez says that since the dispute is over, both parties should resume regular negotiations without the intervention of the Labour Department. 


Arturo ‘Tux’ Vasquez, C.E.O., Port of Belize Ltd.

“I think we are now on the same page. We looked at the preliminary proposal that they provided and I think we are speaking the same language. Of course there needs to be a bit more discussion and negotiation on it however I think it is sufficient enough now for the union to say that they can move ahead with the more extensive financial presentation that they will make. So it was a progressive meeting in the sense that we are not almost on the same page when it comes to working hours. With that in mind I think that now the issue of the impasse and the strike is now before us and I think we are also on the same page ins saying that because of where we have progressed that there is a quite a great possibility that that will now be removed by the union however the union had asked for them to stop the meeting today so that they can go and speak to their bigger negotiating team to determine is that is where they should go now. I think they also want an audience with the Ministry for two things. One, to say to the Minister that we have progress significantly that perhaps that there is no longer a dispute. Secondly, in their proposal they are referring to eighteen hours. The law says fifteen. In a section of their proposal they are referring to an eighteen hours in case it is needed. But at the same they are asking if that can be amended as was recommended by the AG but that is for the union to determine, the union to discuss with the Ministry. They had asked for our support and we really do not see any issue if the government is prepared to change or introduce a special eighteen hours only for stevedores. As I discuss with Mose, that would be something for the Ministry to look at but let’s face it, they said that they could be change and what the union is doing is simply asking for a change.”


Throughout the impasse, Labour Minister Carla Barnett, Labour C.E.O. Kerry Belisle and Acting Labour Commissioner observed the negotiations leading up to today’s developments. So while the strike has been called off, the two parties will continue to meet to finalize the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

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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