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Jul 14, 2021

Union Says Stevedores Stand to Lose Up to 40% of Salaries

And while three unresolved matters are listed in C.W.U.’s letter to the Minister of Labour, the pending move by A.S.R/B.S.I. to transfer its sugar operation from Belize City to Port of Big Creek is, according to Hyde, the issue that triggered the impasse.  While C.W.U. is looking to get confirmation on the filling of Container Gangs, and a date to resume negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, Hyde says the move could cost stevedores up to forty percent of their salaries.  The union is also questioning the legality of the sugar company’s intent to relocate to the Big Creek Port.  Hyde says an M.O.U. signed between G.O.B. and the Big Creek Port back in 2006 does not allow A.S.R. to move to the Big Creek Port.


Evan ‘Mose’ Hyde

On the Phone: Evan ‘Mose’ Hyde, President, Christian Workers Union

“We went through an entire mediation process why we feel justified that we should have a negotiation that settles on a redundancy package for stevedores who will lose half of their earnings because they work containers, they work sugar. We view the loss of sugar to be equivalent to redundancy because of the loss of employment. Obviously, the employer did not share this view when we were at the labor department officer in March of 2020.  Under the guidance of the Ministry of Labor this matter was set upon, and we believe, it is our view that this is the understanding we have between us.  What we want to do is sit around a table. That is what we have been asking the employer to do. Let’s talk sugar. And so, this whole impasse, this whole standoff is based on that reluctance. We don’t know, obviously we are starting to get a sense, through little words here and actions there, of what their position is. But we have not sat around a table. And because we have been denied that opportunity to talk this, to talk the CBA which is a separate bargaining unit, we are forced to do what we consider to be the option of last resort, and that is to look at a shut down.  We have sought out some clarification as to why this agreement is not being honored by the Government of Belize in 2021. And, we have also inquired why nobody wants to speak of this agreement, not even the employer who for once, we believe; we should be sharing a joint interest with on this matter. Moving sugar to Big Creek, theoretically, should impact the employer as well.”


News Five attempted to get comment from the Port of Belize this afternoon, but we were told the C.E.O. and deputy C.E.O. were in a meeting.

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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