The National Trade Union Congress is preparing a response to the Prime Minister after the unions met over the weekend. The meeting looked at the responses provided by the Prime Minister surrounding their six demands to the Government. While NTUCB’s President, Marvin Mora, could not divulge the details of the meeting until a formal response is issued to the PM, Mora did speak to Love News on the Prime Minister’s reluctance to address the composition of the Integrity Commission and the Public Accounts Committee.
Marvin Mora, President, National Trade Union Congress of Belize: “On Saturday we had a very long and exhausting meeting that addressed those points. We’re still not through yet with all of it so we will have to get back to addressing all of them but the major ones have already been discussed, we will reply to the Prime Minister. There are a couple things that he mentioned in there that are not entirely so so we will address that as well. To be on point yes we’ve addressed those and we will also let the general public know when we get through with that because we have to respond to him first.”
Reporter: Where are you, and I know you said that you need to respond to the Prime Minister but just give me a general idea in terms of the reaction and the response to him not willing to negotiate in terms of the composition of the Integrity Commission and the Public Account Commission which has, which are two bodies that has a lot to do in terms of transparency and accountability of the government.
Marvin Mora, President, National Trade Union Congress of Belize: “Well that’s one of the beauties of the support that we are getting that indeed our mentality, and ideology about those oversight committees is that they should be really autonomous, they should be independent of government interference so much so that all of the other members BCCI, BNN have already expressed the exact same sentiments and that is part of our release we sent out Friday so that’s how we’re moving, we’re moving in the direction of support so that we can get it done.”
The meeting was held on the heels of the rally that took place on February 20. According to Mora, the Prime Minister was receptive of their points but stood his ground on certain issues.
Marvin Mora, President, National Trade Union Congress of Belize: “The mood was somber, really and truly I don’t think he was really happy that we had to go to extremes to get his attention yet respectful; not one bit of disrespect, not one bit of I would say inclination towards making the NTUCB seem small in any kind of way. He gave us the respect that we were asking for and we gave the respect that he deserves in his position as Prime Minister yet the meeting was frank, open and honest and we presented the points to him. However that is as far as it went, he did not really clearly give us his own positions immediately on everything but he articulated that in the letter that you all have already seen.”
As it relates to the aspects of oversight and transparency, the NTUCB is collaborating with the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as the Belize Network of NGOs in getting their demands met.