In most instances where negotiations involve laborers, the Labor Commissioner, Ivan Williams, would have been called. His role would be to mediate between the laborers and the employer. However, in the case of the stevedores and the Port of Belize Limited, Williams was not wanted. President of the Christian Workers Union, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, told us why.
Reporter: The stevedores expressed that they don’t want the labor commissioner be a part of it.
Audrey Matura Shepherd : “That is a tough questions because if I tell the honest truth it wouldn’t sound good. I think it’s just a matter where they didn’t see the need at that point and there is an issue of trust and it may not be well founded but it is based on the fact that you all have to understand that for eleven years these stevedores have been undermined and treated with a lot of disrespect. They don’t trust easily and that is why you see every decision I make I come back and talk to them because it’s important that they have that trust, that what we are doing is in their best interest so that is the best way I can explain that.”
We were unable to get a comment from the Labor Commissioner today.