Christian Workers Union Welcomes Port Nationalization but Demands Justice for Terminated Workers
The Christian Workers Union (CWU), the union representing most stevedores, says that while it welcomes the government’s decision to nationalize the Port of Belize, it remains focused on justice for the stevedores, as well as for the PBL 35, who were unjustly terminated in 2020. The union expresses relief that the deal sees the withdrawal not just of the pending claims against Belize but also against CWU, including the lifting of the injunction preventing the full distribution of the ex-gratia payment made to stevedores, prejudiced by the 2002 privatization of the Port. The union says that last week, Labour Ministry Officials gave assurances that the pending decision of the Essential Services Arbitration Tribunal (ESAT) would be forthcoming by today. The union now calls for the ESAT to deliver as promised and for the PBL 35 to be provided with justice before the fast-approaching Christmas. Additionally, the CWU reminds GOB of its commitment to make the necessary investments in bulk handling and storage, container handling and storage, and the needed critical repairs to the Port’s pier. In ending, CWU says nationalization done improperly, without accountable and transparent negotiations with our members, will be a devastating repeat.