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Aug 17, 2012

Uproar as Port suspends outspoken stevedore

A brief standoff between the management of the Port of Belize and career stevedore Raymond Rivers, an outspoken advocate for the rights of dockworkers, led to a temporary delay in the servicing of a cargo vessel moored at the harbor this afternoon.  The impasse was the result of a suspension which Rivers is tonight serving after a recent spat with port administration.  As part of a fifteen-member gang, Rivers showed up for work at one o’clock when he was served with a suspension letter informing him of the disciplinary measures being taken.  He was subsequently escorted off the compound by several police officers. The remaining workers, in solidarity with Rivers, did not report for duty onboard the vessel as scheduled, prompting an emergency meeting between PBL receiver Arturo Vasquez and Antonio Gonzalez, president of the Christian Workers Union.  Rivers maintains that he is being victimized by the management of the company for being opinionated on the issue of workers’ rights.


Raymond Rivers, Suspended Stevedore

Raymond Rivers

“I cohn da work todeh and I mi fu work one o’clock right but port management send sohn letter stating that I noh fi go work di vessel because I mi end up threaten somebody outta di sugar boat and I mi di go slow pan dehn sugar boat, and di way how I mi gaan pan Krem and I mi gaan talk fu mista Madrill weh dead about a week ago, right, because ah di faulty equipment weh port have.  But dehn wahn persecute me fi everything, right.  Dehn wahn persecute me fi di toilet weh dehn mi have wah manhole out deh and I mek dehn change it into wah sensible toilet.  Dehn wahn persecute me because di speed boat weh we go out pan di look fi blow up wid we and I di tell dehn we noh gwein pan dat.  Dehn wahn persecute me because I wahn insurance fi my breddas dehn.  Dehn look fi persecute me because I get wah new brand bus fi mek wih go up da pier head eena and all this stuff, right, but Tux Vasquez and Ms. Francine dehn da basically [di one] dehn behind it because dehn no really like me, right.”


Isani Cayetano

“My understanding is that you have been suspended.  How long is this suspension for?”


Raymond Rivers

“Well dehn say fi one boat, right, but port management cyant suspend me, that’s why I have wahn union and weh happen between me and the members a di union, port noh got nothing fi du wid dat.”

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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1 Response for “Uproar as Port suspends outspoken stevedore”

  1. LAStanley says:

    Belizeans yuh hear weh Bob Marley seh. Get up stand up for yuh rights. Don’t back down.

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