HomeLatest NewsC.W.U. Wants Labour Complaints Tribunal to Respond to Them

C.W.U. Wants Labour Complaints Tribunal to Respond to Them

Via phone: Leonora Flowers

C.W.U. Wants Labour Complaints Tribunal to Respond to Them

Last month, the stevedores who are members of the Christian Workers’ Union turned out at their job site at the Port of Belize Limited to state their discontent with the government and the port on two main issues. They wanted fair and immediate compensation from the government after bulk sugar stopped going to that port for export and was instead channeled through the Big Creek Port. That meant that the stevedores lost earnings from that shipment. They also wanted the port to sit with them to come up with a Collective Bargaining Agreement. Today President of the C.W.U., Leonora Flowers told News Five that while the government has paid up one point six million dollars to the stevedores in compensation, the C.B.A. is still pending with the port and being worked on over the next few weeks. But aside from that, there is one other concern she shared with us.


Via phone: Leonora Flowers, President, C.W.U.

“What we agreed also in that those last days were to move was to move with the discussion on the new negotiations of the CBA, and so we are getting into those as in the next couple of weeks. Actually, we are waiting for the date to be set so we can agree on the days. As it relates to sugar money, there is no more contention with Port of Belize and the Government of Belize. That is a done deal. What is of a bother to us right now, and a serious one, is the fact that the 2nd of July 2020, 35 of our members were terminated and that 35 were members who were adamant and outspoken and who were the more boisterous of our members who headed the union representation, the chiefs and so forth. And so when they were singled out, we believe they were targeted because of their affiliation with the union and the role they played in keeping our members hyped up when there was something to see at all times. And so we took that matter to the Labour Complaints Tribunal. Before that, the Labour Complaints Tribunal did not even exist. As a matter of fact, the Ministry of Labour had to implement that tribunal because of the need. And that has been 4 years now, and we have not gotten a resolution on that matter. As late as last year, October, November, we submitted, we made written submissions, or members did their testimonials, as the tribunal panel had requested. And to date, Marion, there has not been a response. And it’s very unnerving to think that a group of people will get a task accept the task, accept their nomination on the panel, and still be unable to present what is their findings and come to a resolution. One thing we know, we have been going into the tribunal procedure in quite detail, and we were told you don’t have to be called, you can be carried forward. Procedures say that you don’t have to be called to a hearing, but in this specific instance, we believe that we are to be heard because we’re making allegations against the court to say that there was evidence, there is evidence of union busting, and we believe that the tribunal owes a responsibility to delve into those matters and to come up with what the reason, reasonable man would do. See as union-busting because we believe it is and we believe our kids have merit.”

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