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Oct 2, 2023

C.W.U. Says Port of Belize Disrespected Stevedores

The latest issue between the Port of Belize and the stevedores is set against the backdrop of the Essential Services Arbitration Award.  In its release, the C.W.U. states, “even whilst participating in the ESAT process, C.W.U. has engaged with P.B.L. to arrange better insurance coverage for the stevedores.  Those efforts appeared to have made progress until today, when P.B.L. tried to link transitioning to better insurance coverage with changing stevedores hours of work.  While both insurance coverage and hours of work are included under the current CWU-P.B.L. Collective [Bargaining] Agreement, they are separate matters”.


Leonora Flowers

Leonora Flowers, President, C.W.U.

“This last act of the port on Friday, we see it as complete disrespect in the highest sense and a total provocation.  When the ESAT determined in 2021 that they should pay the stevedores, that they should negotiate an award to the stevedores, even to date that has not been done.  This is a total of twenty months and they have not adhered to that decision.  Instead, they said they did not understand it, there was no award, there is no loss, there is no loss of people.  We lost income on this side of the table, our members have lost the opportunity to earn income when sugar went to Big Creek and that is what the ESAT decision said at that time.  The port continues.  We went back to the ESAT, there was an adjournment and the decision should have come last Friday, it has been adjourned now to this Friday.  On the heels of that, simultaneously with that bit of irritation that our members are feeling, we were then told another blow, we will not be able to continue with your insurance, unless and until you discuss hours of work.”


News Five attempted to get a response from the management of Port of Belize Limited.  Our request for comment went unanswered.

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