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May 5, 2023

Why Did Labor Dept. Hesitate to Intervene in P.B.L./C.W.U. Dispute?

Evan ‘Mose’ Hyde

On Thursday, the Christian Workers Union called out the Ministry of Labor for failing to intervene in the dispute between the waterfront workers and their employer.  According to the C.W.U. president, the Labor Department plays an important role in a tripartite body that includes the union and the Port of Belize.  So why did government hesitate in getting involved with the dispute?  That‘s what we asked the C.W.U. president earlier today.


Evan ‘Mose’ Hyde, President, Christian Workers Union

“I didn’t put the Ministry of Labor on the witness stand to find out… the matters that we are dealing with here are very [serious].  They say better late than never, noh, coming in, as we have said to them, this I did say to them, history has shown that the Ministry of Labor being present really makes a difference.  When you put CWU’s stevedore negotiating team with just PBL management reps, it’s always very contentious, we noh get lotta momentum.  [When] we have the full tripartite spirit working we have found success.  So, they are in [and] that’s what is important to us right now.  We are here to continue this process, obviously what we would have preferred is for the ship to have been worked to mitigate the impact on the client.  Just have our gang work and it would buy us more time to really, you know, you really would be ticking certain boxes.  We both share a concern about the client, let’s deal with that and then we have a couple days before there is a return when we have the space to see if we can find a middle ground with this dispute that we are having.”


Isani Cayetano

“On Thursday, PBL management expressed that it was willing to come to the table with the CWU to hammer out an agreement that is mutually beneficial for both parties.  Where are we with that considering the fact that they still have not called a meeting with you guys to discuss the way forward?”


Evan Hyde

“I don’t know that it would be very productive for me to critique PBL right now.  What we want to do is to negotiate with PBL, we want to get around the table with them with mutual commitments to a solution.  That’s what we want.  I think, to some extent, our exchange of proposals yesterday is a healthy thing, even though we know that, you know, our members , we are apart on the most consequential part of that.  Still, the process of proposing and counter proposing, that’s how you find a solution.  So let us build on that, we want to build on that and again, we repeat to Belize, to the clients, to everybody, we want to sit down and we are not watching the clock, we are not watching the calendar, our team is ready to do the work now.”

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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