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Sep 16, 2019

Opposition Leader Says Pass the OSH Bill Now

John Briceño

The People’s United Party says that the fatal tragedy at the Civic Center on Friday was unnecessary. Like the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, the P.U.P. believes that this latest tragedy brings to the fore the critical need for the Occupational Safety and Health Bill. The bill was first tabled in 2014, but has yet to be passed. Briceño is calling on the Unions and Private Sector to sit down and revisit the bill for passage.

 

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“I know there has been a lot of concerns from the private sector and also from the unions and it seems that it had died a natural death in the house committee. I think that what is important and I am urging the unions and the private sector, certainly the Chamber, to sit down together and go through the Bill and to come up with something that they both think they can support. So that it can come back to us for second reading and third reading and then we can enact it into law. What is important I think that more than ever the time has come for us to have an occupational and hazard legislation in this country as the country grows and there are bigger buildings and we have to be more safety conscious of our workers. I think it is time for us to pass that bill.”

 

Late today, the Ministry of Labour issued a statement on the OSH Bill putting it squarely on the N.T.U.C.B. and Chamber. The Ministry gives the assurance that it remains committed to ensuring the bill is passed, implemented and monitored. According to the release, the bill went as far as the House Committee. Subsequently, the N.T.U.C.B. and the Chamber agreed to enter into discussions with a view to recommend improvements to the Bill and in February 2018 announced that they had agreed to collaborate on finalizing the Bill. But according to the Ministry, the draft has not yet been received.


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