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Jul 28, 2020

Stalemate Continues Between P.B.L. and C.W.U.

The stalemate involving the Port of Belize and the Christian Workers Union continues tonight and another day went by without loading and unloading of cargo which means that the shrinking economy continues to be impacted. According to P.B.L. today, the union has rejected a proposal to settle the dispute through mediation.  P.B.L. says that to encourage mediation, it has restored the full salary of general staff beginning twenty-seventh July 2020 which in essence eliminates a major bone of contention that led to last week’s unrest.  At a closed door meeting on Monday morning, PBL proposed that both sides sit and air their differences through a high-level mediator with the Ministry of Labour acting as an observer. P.B.L. requested that if C.W.U. agreed to come to the table, its members would resume their duties at P.B.L. for the duration of the mediation to enable the process. But that proposal was flatly rejected. P.B.L. also notes that as the meeting was underway, a C.W.U. member, under the guise of a so-called peaceful protest, damaged a glass door and a security camera at the Port’s security booth and he was subsequently arrested. This is in addition to the vandalism and damage to P.B.L. property and security equipment last week when the illegal and violent protest took place.  P.B.L. also maintains that it continues to operate well within the law and that it has attempted on various occasions to settle the stevedoring dispute. As a matter of observation, P.B.L. notes that stevedores earn more than thirty eight thousand for thirty-eight days of work for the year, a figure which above the fifteen thousand plus per year that law enforcement officers take home while putting in far much time at work.

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