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Feb 19, 2020

“Only the People Can Save the People” – the N.T.U.C.B. to Take to the Streets

Gerald Henry

The ten unions of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize have not taken to the streets for years, but this Thursday, their presence will be felt in Belize City against corruption under the banner, “Only the People Can Save the People.” With the national mood running on edge, it will be one of the biggest protests that the government is facing, following the John Saldivar scandal. Union members from all over the country will descend on the city. One of the N.T.U.C.B.’s biggest members, the B.N.T.U., has informed the Ministry of Education that it will be taking part. This afternoon, the Ministry of Education granted a non-school day to the managing authorities of all government and government-aided schools. The ministry’s memo says it will continue to engage relevant stakeholders with regard to the one hundred and eighty days in the school year.   From the south, the Southern Workers Union has also signalled it will march and this afternoon, the National Student Union issued a release to say it will be counted. There is also support from the Belize Energy Workers Union and the Christian Workers Union and the Public Service Union today issued a call to its members to come out. As you know, the P.S.U. is comprised of government employees so it stands that they will be guarded in taking part. The P.S.U. President Gerald Henry made a plea in this manner.


Gerald Henry, President, Public Service Union

“Having called for the resignation of the former Minister of National Security John Saldivar, the Public Service Union of Belize now sounds the call to all Public Officers to make a stand against corruption.  The National Trade Union Congress of Belize and all its affiliate Unions which includes the P.S.U., will be staging a national demonstration against corruption on Thursday, January twentieth, 2020 in Belize City.  We encourage all public officers to apply for the day off, or take the day off in whatever fashion necessary and come out in solidarity with all your brothers and sisters from the N.T.U.C.B., the business sector, private citizens, students, N.G.O.s, churches and every else who loves Belize and is willing to stand up for a better future of our children.  Stop talking and start doing.  Unity is strength, and there is always strength in numbers.”


The N.T.U.C.B. has made six demands on the government, including for an investigation of John Saldivar and other officials involved in the Lev Dermen scandal.  They are also asking for the implementation of the UNCAC. So on Thursday, they will leave from Constitution Park and head to Memorial Park. Today, the umbrella organization also received support from the International Trade Union Congress, commending the N.T.U.C.B. for taking a bold step against corruption and demanding political accountability. The message states that all across the world, people are losing faith in governments and political systems due to the failure of politicians to govern for the people and the all-too-frequent capture of policymaking by moneyed interests. The International Trade Union Congress says it speaks on behalf of two hundred million trade union members in one hundred and sixty-three members. News Five will provide coverage of Thursday’s protest on both television and social media platforms.

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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