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Aug 17, 2012

Port Receiver explains why stevedore was suspended

Arturo Vasquez

According to Arturo Vasquez, the suspension is the result of written complaints tendered by fellow stevedores against Rivers, as well as his contempt towards the new management of the port by refusing to accept a memo issued to him.  In the end, Vasquez was able to avert a complete standstill by liaising with the gang through their union president. At three o’clock this afternoon, the remaining workers returned to their respective duties after a two-hour delay.


Arturo Vasquez, Receiver/Manager, PBL

“Basically what happened is [that] since the thirtieth of July we have been trying to deliver a letter to Mr. Rivers on some allegations that we had against him but there was no suspension at that time.  So we are trying since then to deliver letters but we could not locate Mr. Rivers.  So what we was we waited until his next shift came this week and after he was finished working we had the security deliver the letter to him and he blankly refused it then.  In my opinion, I think that any employee who kinda disregards the request of management trying to deliver a letter to him, obviously that is the reason why we moved towards a suspension.  So the suspension was issued today from the ship today and the ship on Monday.”


Isani Cayetano

“My understanding was [that] at the point where he received notice of his suspension, that his colleagues, who are part of gang four, were in solidarity with him and refused to go and work on the ship.  Can you speak to us on that?”


Arturo Vasquez

“That’s the understanding yes.  Actually, when I came back at one o’clock when the crew was supposed to go, the gang was supposed to go onboard I understand that they were not going because they understand that Mr. Rivers was not a part of the gang.  So the union executive had asked to meet with me and we met around 1:15 p.m.  And yes that was the position, the gang was not prepared to work if Mr. Rivers was not on it.  But after long discussions with the executives I was clear with them, I told them that the gang will either work but the gang will not work with Mr. Rivers.  He is not a part of that list and that is where the management stands.  So after a couple of discussions with the union executives and then they speaking to the gang members, I needed the executive to be clear with me whether the gang would work or not, because if not then I would have had to take other actions.  So at the end of the discussion they managed to convince the gang to go back to work on the ship without Mr. Rivers.”


The Christian Workers Union is currently in negotiations with the management of the Port of Belize Limited to renew its collective bargaining agreement.

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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3 Responses for “Port Receiver explains why stevedore was suspended”

  1. Storm says:

    I think the Port is over-reacting. Rivers can’t do too much rabble-rousing the way he talks — I can’t understand a word he says.

    When economic times are as hard as they are, people need to work a little harder and worry a little less about being pampered on the job. That’s just a universal fact of life.

  2. A . Hutchinson says:

    When did workers rights included abusive actions,(body nudging and Verbal abuse), against your supervisors, (General Foremen – of his Gang # 6, and the Sugar Barge), because you do not agree with company’s directives?

    This was why the unfortunate incident claimed the life of their fellow Stevedore. They want to override the directives from the General Foremen of the gangs.

    What kind of Organization (the CWU) would encourage a few of its members in criminal and obnoxious behavior in the workplace?

    Mr. Rivers needs to do the work he is being paid to do, that of a wench man, instead of trying to negotiate and advocate, that is the prerogative of the Union, on their behalf.

    These supervisors are his fellow Stevedores, who has experience working Water Front for many years. He needs to respect authority.

    How does he feel knowing that these men has children past his age? They also has the right to be heard and protected in the work place from violence.

    Why did he not accept the Letter? Why does he keep hurdling threats at anyone who is not singing the song with him?

    Please note: That it is Gang # 6 and not 4.

  3. Louisville,Ky says:

    Storm, if you did not understand a word Rivers was saying, then you need to butt out and mind your own business as evidently this is a Belizean thing and, ‘you wouldn’t understand’. I could translate for you in the Queen’s English but I just don’t have the time.

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