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May 29, 2023

C.W.U. Doesn’t Fall Under Trade Unions Act

A decision on preliminary question of law regarding a claim brought against the Christian Workers Union by the Port of Belize Limited has been delivered by the High Court.  In 2022, the Port of Belize filed a lawsuit for damages reportedly arising from industrial action taken by the C.W.U. and six other defendants.  This followed eight days of strike by stevedores employed by P.B.L.  In the suit filed by attorneys Godfrey Smith and Hector Guerra, the claimant says the strike was illegal and claims damages for the tort of interference with economic interests by unlawful means.  The matter is being heard before Justice Genevieve Chabot.  While the court declined to determine whether the strike that took place between January twentieth and twenty-seventh, 2022 was carried out legally or illegally under the laws of Belize, a trial of this claim is necessary to make that determination.  In a fourteen-page ruling, Justice Chabot determined, based on evidence provided by the C.W.U. that it is not registered under the Trade Unions Act and is only registered under the Trade Unions and Employers Organizations Act.  As such the C.W.U. and its members are not entitled to the benefits of the Trade Unions Act.

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