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Oct 2, 2023

C.W.U. Says Insurance is Part of Collective Bargaining Agreement

Leonora Flowers

Flowers told reporters earlier today that the initial conversation between the Christian Workers Union and the Port of Belize Limited were going smoothly, until the company reportedly informed that it would not be able to provide insurance coverage for stevedores at the expiration of that policy.


Leonora Flowers, President, C.W.U.

“The conversation was flowing nicely until we were told a couple weeks ago that the port will not be able to provide that insurance to go forward.  That old insurance expired on Saturday.  The new insurance would have commenced yesterday, the first of October.  They told us on Friday [that] unfortunately they would not be able to go ahead with the new insurance unless and until the stevedores agree to new hours of work, bear in mind that hours of work is covered in the new agreement.  We have said to them time and time again that as a responsible union, CWU cannot negotiate away terms in the collective [bargaining] agreement, the current one without sitting down and properly negotiating those terms.  The insurance is already a part of the CBA, the hours of work is already a part of the CBA, but they want to tell us now, we’ll only change insurance if you agree to new terms.  As president of this union since May, I have said several times to the PBL, and we’re written to them, let us get to the collective [bargaining] agreement and at that time we will negotiate in total what needs to be negotiated.  The Belizean public is aware that we have lawsuits brought upon us by the Port of Belize seeking to perhaps demolish our union, but strength is in numbers and we continue to fight those.”

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