Leader of the Opposition sides with the CWU
And, the plight of the CWU was an issue that the Leader of the Opposition Moses “Shyne” Barrow, raised on Friday when he spoke to the media. Barrow says the UDP is siding with the union and feels that the Port of Belize Limited (PBL) should be abiding by the Essential Services Tribunal’s ruling. Barrow says the government seems to not be putting the same effort into solving the CWU’s issue as it has tried to do with the BSCFA and BSI.
Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “That is the position of the United Democratic Party that it is not for the Christian Workers Union and stevedores to pursue a legal remedy when they have a terms of reference that both parties agreed that the tribunal would be the entity that determines this matter in finality. So 30 days after the Minister of Labour and his ministry should have taken a steps to enforce the tribunal. What is the purpose of having a tribunal then? It makes a mockery of governance. It makes a mockery of the ministry. It totally compromises any type of confidence that people, laborers, citizens of Belize have in their government if the government will set up a procedure, you will submit to the procedure, I guarantee you if it was the other way around and the stevedores last not ruling that the government has proven that they would take whatever steps they need to to enforce. So again you have two extremes you have one Minister of Agriculture usurping powers with the sugar industries regulation that was just passed where he gives himself the powers to compel payment to his union who has not been able to reach an agreement with BSI that is the problem. This idea that BSI is not adhering to fair trade engagement, fair trade rules is not sold. They have not come to an agreement and so they can’t benefit from whatever fair trade rules because they don’t have an agreement all the other unions come on the sugar unions cañeros have an agreement with BSI and that’s why they benefit. So now you have the minister usurping power, giving himself the ability to interfere and tell the investors you don’t like it leave Belize then on the other spectrum you have the stevedores, the minister is saying nothing.”