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May 24, 2023

Two Weeks Later, Still No End to C.W.U./P.B.L. Logjam

The Christian Workers Union, the Port of Belize Limited and the Ministry of Labor met earlier this month to commence negotiations for a sugar redundancy package for stevedores.  That meeting was held on May eleventh and when the C.W.U. exited the Toucan Hall at the Biltmore, its president was circumspect on details of the discussion.  But he was optimistic that the meeting was a step in the direction to resolve the loggerhead that waterfront workers are facing with their employer.  It’s almost two weeks later and while the C.W.U. has elected a new president to succeed Mose Hyde, the union’s issue with the Port of Belize persists.  According to Hyde, now a special advisor to the labor organization is that P.B.L. refuses to honor the decision of the Essential Services Arbitration Tribunal.


Evan ‘Mose’ Hyde

Evan ‘Mose’ Hyde, Special Advisor, C.W.U.

“The matter of the sugar redundancy negotiations and the ESAT ruling is one of the huge issues that faces the Christian Workers Union and our members down at the waterfront, the stevedores.  We have taken an approach to not say a lot because we have afforded everybody involved the space and time to see if we can create some meaningful progress with the issue.  I am afraid that we have reached a point where we seem to have gotten bogged down in tremendous resistance to the point of it reaching a level of, to be honest the word I am forced to use is disrespect.  When last we had anything to say on the matter, we had indicated to you guys in the media that we were unable to really say anything much and we had explained that there were certain deadlines.  What I want to do is just to kind of go back to that moment to say that that meeting came out of a letter written to us from PBL in which they indicated that they were willing to get around the table to comply with the ESAT ruling.  And so, as you can expect, we were very encouraged by that and we had a certain level of expectations that we would actually start to have a meaningful dialogue. As a result of staying in the meeting, the indication or the deadline that was given by the Ministry of Labor to PBL was to say, “Hey, you said you were going to negotiate so we give you until Monday since it is you say that you need to meet with your big people and your financial people.  So Monday is a fair time for you to present a counterproposal to the CWU and the stevedores.  Monday came and again, what was sent was just a repeat of their position and no compliance with the directive that they were given.  They were responded to by the relevant authorities in the Ministry of Labor to say hey, you need to comply with this and later on in that week, they responded in a very, in our view, aggressive manner, saying that that was not going to happen and repeated their hard line position.”

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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