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Jan 24, 2013

B.N.T.U. against Saldivar’s union-busting tactic


Luke Palacio

On Wednesday, Minister of National Security John Saldivar, area representative for Belmopan, issued a response denouncing statements made by the Joint Unions Negotiating Team that a letter to meet with his constituents, particularly members of the Belize National Teachers Union, was a blatant act of union-busting.  Despite a rather anemic attendance at the meeting, Saldivar said that he is heartened by the discussion during which approximately fifty teachers exchanged ideas on the issue of the salary increase.  The JNT, on the other hand, maintains that Saldivar’s actions were tantamount to union-busting since he is not a part of the ongoing negotiations.


Luke Palacio, President, Belize National Teachers Union

“I cannot say with any definitive position that it was deliberate but the act is an act of union-busting and we stand by that because if you wanted to meet with your constituency, it’s not your constituency [that’s] negotiating the Collective Bargaining Agreement.  It is the Belize National Teachers Union, the Association of Public Service Senior Managers and the Public Service Union, so why will you now decide to call our teachers out of class so that you can discuss the Collective Bargaining Agreement when all along, no doubt, Cabinet was fully apprised of how the negotiations were going.  So we stand by our statement, whether it was deliberate or not, that attempt was an attempt at union-busting, trying to divide and conquer and we were able to say to our membership, “stand firm with your union, listen to your union leaders” because we are the ones involved in the negotiations.  We know what we go through during those negotiations and we have been very open with our membership, in fact, calling special meetings at almost every opportunity that lends itself to it or where it is determined that we need to inform our membership and we have been doing that and we continue to do that.”


So tonight, the unions are gearing up to head to Belmopan as the government maintains that it cannot afford the salary adjustments. 

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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2 Responses for “B.N.T.U. against Saldivar’s union-busting tactic”

  1. Storm says:

    I don’t think Hon. Saldivar was in danger of busting any unions. He probably just feels he has been such a total success in his day job, National Security, that he should offer his talent to solve the rest of the Jewel’s problems.

    Anyway, if he tries to bust the union with the same success he has had busting gangs, cartels, and Hezbollah cells, the teachers have nothing to worry about.

    He might just have been jealous at how much media exposure Hon. Faber has been getting with the teacher negotiations.

  2. mtor says:

    I strongly believe that he was trying to buy out the teachers of his constituency with some promise. The end result would be a boycott of the demonstration, thus union-busting.

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