Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Miscellaneous, People & Places, Social Issues » A New Grassroots Movement is Formed against the Unions
May 6, 2021

A New Grassroots Movement is Formed against the Unions

While the unions are protesting against the government, today another group came out in protest against…. You guessed it: the unions. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Teachers and public officers remain on strike, even with talks resuming between the unions and government regarding a ten percent salary cut and increment freeze.  It’s bad enough that a majority of primary school students have been at home since the start of the pandemic last year, the ongoing industrial action puts a hold on any form of learning that has been taking place outside of the classroom.


Voice of: Protestor

“From last week Tuesday, my baby noh get no work or nothing fi do because they sent a message saying that they are striking.  Who di lose?  Di children weh dehn seh dehn care fa.  If dehn care fi di children dehn wahn get eena di classroom and teach di children and noh worry bout wahn ten percent.”


Just before midday, a small handful of residents proceeded on foot through downtown Belize City demanding, among other things, that teachers return to work.  They are part of a newly formed grassroots movement that calls itself Union for Development, Advancement and Prosperity.   According to Philip ‘Fawda’ Henry, they represent the sixty thousand Belizeans who have been jobless since COVID-19 made its way to Belize in 2020.


Philip ‘Fawda’ Henry

Philip ‘Fawda’ Henry, President, UDAP

“None of these people are out here today but they are crying the same way.  They are crying because they are giving the government the opportunity to work this out so that we can find the solution to bring this country back.  Are you aware what the government of the opposition have done to this country?  Selling off all our assets, all those monies could have been put in place to pay the teachers today.  I believe that the unions and the teachers are being very selfish.”


These single mothers are among many that were sent home last year amid the economic crisis at the start of the pandemic.  Despite being unemployed, they have also had to take the lead in teaching their children, a job, they say, that is the responsibility of the teachers that are presently on strike.


Voice of: Protestor

“Wah year and change now I deh home, I di teach my own pickni, I noh di get no pay either.  I am not getting no pay either.  And yoh have some parents whereas dehn noh literally sihdown and teach dehn child soh that dehn get it because dehn have other work and other stuff dehn need fi do as well and some ah di children dehn just deh out ya noh di do nothing.  Like dehn just di hurry do di lotta assignments weh dehn send just fi send it back een fi wahn grade.”


“Fawda” Henry, known for his street-style activism and road safety initiative, is at the helm of UDAP.


Isani Cayetano

“You’re calling this a union but for this to be recognized as a union these people have to be working.  Are they working?”


Philip ‘Fawda’ Henry

“Well, you and I know, are some of the union people have jobs now?  We know that we are coming out of a pandemic.  These people here, some of them are still working at the Belize City Council.  Some of them are working house jobs and stores, but they take their break and the opportunity to come out here, but majority of them are single mothers.  Does the union come out here and give them something?  No.”


That sentiment is being echoed by the protestors who came out to voice their discontent with the teachers and public officers earlier today.


Voice of: Protestor

“We are doing the teachers’ jobs and then how about the parents that can’t read and write?  I mean they are at home struggling with these kids.  As she said, we were out of jobs, I mean I am still not working.  Casinos just opened and I worked at a casino and I didn’t get back by job.  I mean, I am still out of a job and the teachers were collecting this whole while, I mean I noh think it’s fair.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed