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Oct 25, 2013

Standoff between the CWU membership and its executives leads to a general congress

Dion Pitter

Plans to convene a general congress by the membership of the embattled Christian Workers Union remain in motion, despite strong dissuasion from the organization’s executive committee.  On Thursday, President Antonio Gonzalez and General Secretary James McFoy went on record to discourage attendance of what they have described as an unauthorized meeting.  That congress, as agreed upon during a previous meeting held in August, will see the election of a new executive.  Earlier today, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize made a public appeal to members of the CWU urging them to attend the convention.  While Gonzalez and McFoy will no longer be running for office, they are standing firmly behind a decision taken during a meeting held a week ago in which it was agreed by the majority that the congress be deferred to February 2014 for financial reasons.  According to Dion Pitter, who is being endorsed for presidency by colleague Raymond Rivers and union activist Dale Trujeque, Saturday’s meeting is proceeding full steam ahead.


Dion Pitter, Representative, Christian Workers Union

“If we noh have our congress tomorrow, we could be expelled and if we expelled, we don’t have no bargaining power. If I have to as weh mi two breddrin say dehn wah endorse mi yah, I take that. Members I gwen to the end; it is all in your hands. And me and mi breddrins, we open the can of worms. We come open the can of worms for accountability, transparency and good governance. I ready fi deal with that. unu ask fi unu self, based on ten years and no election; ten years and no financial reports; ten years and no audit. Ask yourself….ask yourself. If I get in, I noh know everything, but I willing fi build wah lovely relationship with all entities under CWU and under the National Trade Union Congress. Dah time Belize; dah time fi we step up and change the game weh di play. And I di put myself pan di forefront. And I di call all the entities, allt he members, cause dah unu dah di power. Come out and exercise unu rights. Come out tomorrow and exercise yourt rights and make we clean up CWU. Ina 2006, we had two thousand five hundred members the pay ten dollars a month. When you calculate that monthly to yearly, dah one point five million dollars mission; can’t give account of. Dah fi unu money. Dah noh stevedores money. Dah eleven to fifteen rest of entities money except DFC because dehn withdraw their money four to five years ago because of no financial reports, no audit, no accountability. The same position me and mi breddrin take; it is wrong.”

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