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Sep 16, 2019

N.T.U.C.B. Prez Says OSH Bill is Back on the Front Burner

Marvin Mora

The N.T.U.C.B. calls for a full unbiased investigation by the Police Department and that a further inquiry be coordinated by the Belize Infrastructure Limited. President Marvin Mora says that the union is not casting any aspersions at this time, but says that the N.T.U.C.B. has been pushing for passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Bill. The OSH Bill was first tabled back in 2014, but there have been several concerns raised by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Mora says that even before this incident, dialogue had commenced to see that the bill be taken to the House as soon as possible.

 

Marvin Mora, President, N.T.U.C.B.

“The N.T.U.C.B. itself has had internal strife and finally we are able to push forward and the first order of business for the N.T.U.C.B. was the number one priority, the Occupational Safety and Health Bill. So we already have liaised with the other stakeholder which is the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, representing the employers of this country. And we have been able to put together a strategy and we are working that process. We also have impressed upon them, way before this incident, that time is of the essence for the N.T.U.C.B.  So we have a very tight schedule. Hopefully within the next two to three months, we should have some update and we can move the process to the next stage which is putting it back in the hands of the government of Belize. The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry had a list of twenty-something concerns that they cited on the proposed legislation so we had not had the opportunity to sit down and go through them in detail because we had been trying to establish a meeting.  The N.T.U.C.B. had sent several emails and letters and finally we are able to move the process forward. We have had one successful meeting, as far as I am concerned, and we have established a committee is now working. So the committee is functional already.”

 

Duane Moody

“One of the concerns, I believe, was that it would be the employers that would have to foot the bill to put in place the proper safety measures—whether that be equipment, training, what have you.”

 

Marvin Mora

“The fact is that our workers are already bearing the cost. The cost of working in an unsafe working environment as you can see results in people losing their lives or people losing their limbs or getting sick or hurt at work. That is one. But then there is also the fact of life that employers might generate employment and wealth is generated by the labourers. So whatever the investment that the employer needs to bear surely will have to come from the same workers themselves because they are the ones that generate the wealth at any given business.”


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