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CitCo and CWU at odds over workers subsistence

The Christian Workers Union (WCU) and the Belize City Council remain at odds over the issue of subsistence.  As we reported last week, the CWU has been trying to sit down with the Belize City Council to discuss subsistence for workers when they have to work outside city limits. Evan Mose Hyde Jr., the President of the CWU, told the media that the Belize City Council’s refusal to allow the CWU to be a part of a meeting that concerns its union members can only be interpreted as the Council not wanting to engage the union in a respectful manner.

Evan Mose Hyde Jr. – President of CW: “It is immensely disturbing that this is the treatment that the Christian Workers Union received from the Belize City Council on this occasion and we really want them to really examine their response to our request and for them to understand Christian Workers Union we are not exceeding our reach. This is our responsibility, this is our mandate, this is the way it works and we really wanted to mark this occasion by going publicly with our discontent. This is unacceptable.”

According to Floyd Neal, CWU’s General Secretary, problems with the Council concerning their union members date back to the previous administration.

Floyd Neal  – CWU’s General Secretary: “We have said in discussions we had it the previous council and their negotiating team; “our members are entitled to this please deliver on what our members are entitled to”, but there was no consistency with it. The members there did not continue to complain about it but with the change of the management at City Hall they hoped for a fresh start and we did have the initial conversation with the new council. Shortly after they came in to City Hall we had a meet and greet with them and we raised some of the concerns that our members had and among those concerns was how soon are we gonna engage to negotiate a new collective agreement, we still don’t have a response to that yet but there were various concerns that our members highlighted and a key one was a successor collective agreement where of course this whole matter of subsistence would have been a feature of those discussions.”

Hyde said that Belize City Council’s reason for denying the CWU access to the meeting was because twelve of the fourteen people in the meeting were CWU members.