Christian Workers Union Nears Collective Bargaining Agreement with Belize City Council
The Christian Workers Union says it is on the verge of possibly striking a collective Bargaining Agreement with the Belize City Council. The union has been working to finalize an agreement for its members working at council for several a years. However, CWU President Leonora Flowers says it was until late last year that the talks between the parties increased. Today, she spoke to Love News about the progress and the urgency to have it finalized.
Leonora Flowers, President, Christian Workers Union: “We know that it’s in our members’ best interest to finalize this before there is an election and we don’t want to be caught holding the bag again like the last time that they said “we’ll sign we’ll sign.” and nothing happened. So our members are expecting that we will bring this one to a resolution and that means we will have a signed CBA before the election. We are running out of time and we had like three meetings set for this week but we were only able to pull off one successfully but we have gone through the material so much so that we believe we’re able to forward this matter to the Labour Department by next week and probably have them – they’ve been able to give us a quick turnaround in maybe two weeks and then both parties would be able to sign. The mayor himself had gone on record when we had a meeting to say he wants it to be wrapped up by December and I had said to him at the meeting that is ambitious but on our side we like ambitious so we were gunning for that but unfortunately we’re still unable to say it has been signed. Nevertheless we continue to work hard at it and our members expect it to be signed before the city council election comes into being so that’s what we’re looking at.”
Flowers says she must concede that there is a political motive behind the increased talks and notes that both sides are leveraging their political influences.
Leonora Flowers, President, Christian Workers Union: “We can’t get away from say things in Belize are politics, we say it everyday. Sometimes we just throw the words out there but it is sad that I would say almost everything in Belize runs by politics because we’re rushing now going head over heels trying to finalize this because if it isn’t finalized then we may find ourselves waiting for another three years. So it is a little bit of politics that we’re playing too, they’re playing, we’re playing. We want it to be done before elections so if you want to call that politics then it is what it is.”
This would provide CWU employees at the council with specific benefits they are negotiating.