CWU wants say in who sits on Port of Belize Board
While the CWU hopes for an audience with GOB, an interim Board of Directors for the Port of Belize Ltd is preparing to assist in its takeover. Today, GOB appointed the board as it finalizes the port’s acquisition in the nearly 200 million deal with the Ashcroft alliance. Past PUC Chairman Gilbert Canton Sr., who has decades of business experience in agriculture, commodities, and familiarity with port operations, was appointed as the chairman. And attorney-at-law Pricilla Banner, accountant Warren Coye, businesswoman Leidi Urbina, engineer Carlton Young, chairman of the Belize Port Authority Major Lloyd Jones, and former president of the Belize National Teachers’ Union Elena Smith were appointed as board members. GOB did not mention how long the board will serve, but according to CWU President Leonora Flowers, it may not be for very long. She says that the union wants a say in the appointment of persons to the board despite GOB selecting a former unionist to serve.
Leonora Flowers, President, Christian Workers Union: “Now we want to stick a pin and said interim board. We would like for the Prime Minister to inform us, CWU, what is the interim board, what are their terms, what is their responsibility, their role and how long they will be in place because CWU has not gotten an opportunity to put anyone on that board. The Unions did not choose. The Unions did not choose a representative. She has been placed there that placing there may be strategic we don’t know. As CWU whenever we go to put people on boards there is a voting. There has been no voting because we are a member, we are a part, we are an affiliate of the NTUCB and there has been no voting to nominate, nor elect, nor select Sister Elena. All due respect to her she has long been a serving member and a very good member when it comes to representation but the process is the process there has been no election and no nomination. Give us that opportunity. We represent the stevedores, we represent the workers there it is only fair that we be involved so I’m saying this is a board where are we on that board, and interim board they’re calling it but we notice they’re flagging the 473. We’re not going to be blindsided by that. That money is money in the bank already. We need to know what’s going on. We have not been consulted and already they’re putting somebody there and saying they represent the union and again I say no disrespect to Sister Elena but CWU was not consulted neither was the NTUCB. No consultation. How could that be a new start ? More disrespect ?”
The Ministry of Finance will also appoint a non-voting observer to the board.