Dale Trujeque was elected as the President of the Christian Workers Union on Saturday. The elections were held during the annual general meeting at the UWI Open Campus in Belize City. Trujeque, who succeeds Audrey Matura, will be joined on the new CWU Executive Board by Treasurer Ella Waight, Trustees Phillipa McDonald, Deon Pitter and Brian Duncan. According to Trujeque, Vice President Basil Brannon and Organizer Stephany Gongora complete the Board and are holdovers from the previous Board until elections planned for later this year at a Special General Meeting, where a revamped CWU Constitution will be placed before Members for their approval.
“There was to have been election for a number of posts in the organization namely the President’s post, the Vice President, the organizer and three trustees if I can recall them correctly. It turned out we only had election for one post which was the president’s post and that is namely because we didn’t have nominations at the time on the floor for the vice president and organizer post so the current incumbents remain in the position until we have a special general meeting for election later this year for those two positions. For the trustees there are three trustee positions for the union, we had three nominees so there were no contests there so they automatically became trustees again. You ask about a quorum and I need to explain because while we had less than a hundred or so people there the board in its discretion because of the constitution is written it allows for the board to take certain kinds of decisions without consulting the membership and so they had taken the decision to allow proxy votes so a number of these votes that were cast were proxy votes and valid. The election was supervised by Mr.Zunniga from the elections and boundaries and we also had persons who showed up impromptu I would say; Ms.Jackie Willoughby I think she is the interim president of the NTUCB and she also assisted so we feel the process was very transparent.”
Trujeque shared some of the areas the new executive will be looking at.
“One of the biggest things that I am very much interested about and it’s been on the table and you all in the media know about it, and it affects even you and your college there it has to do with the health and safety bill. That thing has been floating for over 20 years. If I recall it started when I was a labor officer and I left that department in 2000 it still there and we can’t pass it. Listen I’ve been around a little while on this earth and I’ve been involved with this movement for a number of years but I’m learning one thing, we will keep thing simple and if we keep things simple we will get things done for our people. Don’t complicate things to our people, talk to our people in the language they understand because our people aren’t’ stupid and that doesn’t only go for us that goes for everybody in leadership roles in this country. Talk to our people so that we can understand, stop hiding things from our people with the language you use and if we keep things simple we will achieve a lot. The OSH bill must become law, the labor act needs more revision, it remains mostly antiquated legislation. They are reviewing social security with a view from my reading in the media and listening to the news with a view of increasing contributions. Well the way things are hard in this country we have to put that under a big microscope before we can tell our people and before we can support that so those are very important issues. Along with me hearing about increased contributions I am hearing about scrapping the pensions for elders who didn’t work I think the over 65s, man do you know how many lives we save and help with just that $100 dollars a month? We must think carefully before we marginalize another segment of our population because of a simple $100 a month. The other thing I would want to say that involves social security but in all fairness let me get a grasp on all the issues before I open my mouth. Notice I have been quiet over the years but I have been trying to stay on top of things.”
Trujeque was challenged by Wilmore Staines who received 112 votes less than Trujeque.