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May 3, 2023

P.B.L. Says Delays Caused by Dispute with Stevedores

 The ongoing dispute between the Port of Belize Limited (P.B.L.) and the Christian Workers Union (C.W.U.) has caused service delays, according to a public statement from P.B.L. P.B.L. says that in May 2022, the C.W.U. agreed to switch to a two-gang rotation, which would increase work frequency and earnings for stevedores while lowering costs for shippers and consumers. However, P.B.L. is now facing an undesirable situation. It says that the C.W.U. unilaterally reneged on the agreement and reverted to the less efficient one-gang, one-ship arrangement. As a result, P.B.L. says it can only provide one container gang to work on a vessel for up to 15 hours before the vessel must move off the pier, causing delays and added costs. In its release, P.B.L. accuses the C.W.U. of holding the port and the country to ransom, despite P.B.L.’s attempts to improve its relationship with employees. The P.B.L. is urging the C.W.U. to return to the previously agreed-upon two-gang rotation to enable continuous loading and unloading of vessels.

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