CWU Negotiations with PM Briceno Signal Potential Resolution on Stevedores’ Redundancy Pay

CWU Negotiations with PM Briceno Signal Potential Resolution on Stevedores’ Redundancy Pay

The issue of monies owed to the stevedores over their redundancy at the Port of Belize could be concluded as early as tomorrow. That’s the indication coming from the Christian Workers Union (CWU) after negotiations were held today with Prime Minister John Briceno. While the CWU had originally sought a payout of four point eight million, the final figure is closer to one point five million. President of the CWU, Leonora Flowers, explained that the figure comes with other considerations that could not be disclosed at this stage of the process. Flowers added that the CWU’s attorneys are thoroughly reviewing the document to ensure there are no surprises.

Leonora Flowers, President, CWU: “We have more than likely a yes decision to go ahead. There’s gonna be a little bit of tweaking here and there but we’re taking that back to the team. A little bit of concern when it comes to the proposal of gang size but I think in the end some stevedores were able to explain to the others and I think we’ve gotten a consensus there. The proposal includes other consideration which we will not say in the media right now because we’re still at the table negotiating but suffice to say we have taken it to our attorney and they are also looking at it and we’re going to get legal advice on this. So there’s not going to be another issue that we will be hoodwinked. There is an upping of the proposal let’s just say. There has been an increase in certain areas and it’s more palatable for our members. Before we came to our stevedores we went to our attorney so that is how important it is to get the attorney to review, assess, analyze, interpret everything we were given and we brought it to the stevedores no we will go back to the attorney and so we’ll go back to them.”

Flowers indicated that the Prime Minister and his team seemed genuinely concerned about resolving the issue.  It did beg the question whether the upcoming elections might have been a factor.

Leonora Flowers, President, CWU: “Let’s just say although, we’re not worried about the election. They may be but we’re not worried about it. We are going to take our time with the attorney’s advice and we’re gonna get it back to them. I cannot say today but once we’ve signed on the dotted line that should be forthcoming. I wouldn’t want to predict that. Very good, patient, understanding and to me I don’t like to put words but I kind of sense a genuine wanting to get this over with for whatever purpose I think they genuinely wanted to get this over with perhaps before the election for that reason ? There are other things that we’re going to discuss as well that were proposed and so we’re going back to them with what the men decided.”

We tried to get a comment from the Prime Minister, but he said that he would do so once the negotiations were final.

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