Six employees were laid off by the Belize City Council yesterday. Two of those employees are members of the Christian Workers Union (CWU). In an updated statement, CWU President, Mose Hyde told Love News that the union “does not believe due process was afforded our members and it has sent letters to the City Council to express this.” According to Hyde, the Collective Bargaining Agreement requires the union to have been notified if members had violated the terms of their employment. Here is how Hyde explained it while he was on his morning talk show.
Evan Mose Hyde Jr., President of Christian Workers Union: “We believe, and this is also a kind of personal vibe of mine that when we met, the secretariat met with two of our members- two member who were fired yesterday because that is how it has to happen, they have to be met with and discuss and to find out all the details and then the union is able to respond but in my view just looking at where we are the termination of union members is something that is in our view, has to be done through a process. We have a responsibility, we are the bargaining agent for unionized members at the City Council. And so as is outlined in our collective bargaining agreement there are certain ways and the way you go about with your disciplinary process or whatever you view it as termination is a disciplinary process, is a disciplinary exercise and in that exercise there is a need for absolute due process and we question that due process and especially in the light of the fact that both these workers have received positive appraisals of their work at the City Council. At no point in time has the union been notified that there are issues with two of our workers there, and two of our members so there is no build up to know exactly what grounds and in fact it is not specified in the letters as to on what grounds our members have been terminated. And so we have a responsibility to engage the City Council in defense of our members because we cannot accept as it is right now that that process is one that has been fair to our members and so we are going to approach the situation to try to engage the City Council in our view to make right what we view a process that was completely flawed and needs to be readdressed.”
According to reports, Mayor Bernard Wagner’s decision to terminate the employees is part of the council’s restructuring exercise and as pointed out by one of the persons fired yesterday, Cecil Jenkins, it is more than likely that more persons will be terminated.