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Oct 2, 2023

C.W.U. Says P.B.L. Pulled Plug on Insurance Coverage for Stevedores

The Christian Workers Union is back in the news tonight, regarding insurance coverage for stevedores.  The C.W.U. held a press conference this morning in which it shared that the Port of Belize Limited had informed the labor organization on Friday that it will not be able to provide insurance for waterfront workers going forward.  In a statement issued by the C.W.U., it says, “P.B.L.’s brazen attempt to leverage its responsibility to provide adequate insurance for stevedores by seeking to change the hours of work not included in the Collective [Bargaining] Agreement is regrettable.  What happens next on the waterfront rests with P.B.L.”.  According to C.W.U. President Leonora Flowers, an agreement is in place that provides insurance coverage for stevedores.


Leonora Flowers

Leonora Flowers, President, C.W.U.

“We have a union agreement that says insurance will be provided to our stevedores, that is in effect.  Our current union agreement, the same union agreement that we need to go back to have signed, our collective agreement that we have not been able to move forward because the employer has not found it necessary to negotiate with us.  At Article 9 and Article 12, it tells us of the insurance that the port provides.  Now this is an insurance that, like with most all employers, the employer pays a portion and the employee pays a portion.  This insurance has been in effect and we should have negotiated by October 1st, 2020, new terms, better terms, better rates.  We can show you that and that has not happened to date.  We are with one provider and we have asked for the conversation to commence; in fact, the conversation had commenced.  We were to move to a new provider, giving better rates, of course with increased costs.  Our stevedores had agreed to that.  We will increase the cost, they’ll pay an increase, but there will be better rates and benefits, better benefits to be had.”

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