Labor Union Raises Concerns Over Government’s Handling of Occupational Safety Bill
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) spoke on the issue of the OSH Bill at a Friday night meeting that Love News was invited to. The union president, Luis Luke Martinez, explained that for several months the Minister of Labor has ignored them.
Luis Luke Martinez, President, NTUCB: “The Minister of Labour ignored that document for almost six months. When he eventually responded to us his response was, and we are going to share that response with the media, his response was that there is a process and we need to understand that there is a process. Of course we are aware of the process hence the actions that we have taken. The process was that once we were finished with that, that the document would have been tabled on the Labour Advisory Board. The National Trade Union Congress present here have two members who sit on that Labour Advisory Board who is myself and brother Mora. The other member who sits on the Labor Advisory Board is Sister Sharon. The Labor Advisory Board members including the chamber had requested of the Labor Commissioner through that body to remind the minister of the steps that needs to be taken which is once that has been submitted to him, he doesn’t have, has anything to do with that bill. It is the Labour Advisory Board who is now responsible to take that bill. We have already done our work, remember as a tripartite body, and advise the minister to submit that bill to Cabinet.”
Martinez went on to say that the hardest part of the OSH Bill has been completed, and the process moving forward is not rocket science.
Luis Luke Martinez, President, NTUCB: “There is no rocket science in the procedures to get the legislation for occupational and health safety enacted. The work has been done, we have done the work which the government would have paid a consultant thousands of dollars to do. The Chamber, the representatives from National Trade Union Congress including representatives from Labour we have done that exercise pro bono and why we did that ?Because we know the importance and we know that the legislation is worth a million trillion dollars than what it costs a consultant to get that work done. We have said in a nutshell for those who do not understand that OSH is not a curse legislation. It is one of the best legislation a country could ever have. Why? Because occupational and health safety covers the worker, it covers the employer and it covers the customer.”
Love News will keep following the OSH Bill and the progress.