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Jul 15, 2021

P.B.L. Calls for End of Go-Slow; Says it is Waiting for Decision from Cabinet

The Port of Belize Limited called a press conference this evening to address the ongoing matter with the C.W.U. members. According to P.B.L., since April they have been engaging the C.W.U. but talks stalled when the CWU failed to provide feedback following a meeting.  C.E.O. Andy Lane says that it was on May twenty-eight that the C.W.U. disclosed the Memorandum of Understanding between Toledo Enterprise and the G.O.B. – which they say they weren’t aware of. But that has since triggered a meeting and subsequent correspondence with Prime Minister John Briceño.  Today, Lane told the media that the matter is expected to be discussed in cabinet next week Tuesday and P.B.L. has also committed to meeting with the C.W.U. members the next day. C.E.O. Lane says that while P.B.L. agrees that the sugar shipping should remain in Belize City, he believes the stevedores’ industrial action may do more harm than good and he calls on them to end the go slow.


Andrew Lane

Andrew Lane, C.E.O., Port of Belize Limited

“P.B.L.’s stance is that we fully agree with the C.W.U. that the sugar business should be retained in Belize and that is exactly how we expect the government to rule and honor the commitment that they made in 2006. We very much empathized with our stevedore employees. They are facing great uncertainty. Sugar is a percentage of their earnings, it is not necessarily the percentage which has been mentioned previously by the union, but it is a percentage and it is important to them. And I can fully understand why they feel uncertain at this stage and we would very much like to resolve these matters so that they know what will be happening in the future. P.B.L. does not, however, agree that a go slow is an appropriate step at this particular stage and we feel that it is a little bit premature and we feel like it could even be counter-productive with the Government about to decide which port will handle the sugar in the future, this should be a time where the Port of Belize and the C.W.U. should be demonstrating that this is the best port to be handling the business. However the government rule we will honor and respect that ruling and it will allow us to recommence the discussions with the Christian Workers Union. We implore the Christian Workers Union to end the go slow. This is not doing anybody any favours and it is preventing the stevedores from optimizing their earnings and it is not doing anything for the country and the sugar export business and not least for the sugarcane farmers who rely on the efficient port operations to complement the overall supply chain.”

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