The tragedy has brought major concerns into the spotlight including the safety standards being practiced by employers and employees. The National Trade Union Congress of Belize joined the voices of outrage via a press release sent out this morning. The union says they are disturbed and aggrieved at the preventable deaths of Stuart and Jimenez. It also went on to state, quote, “It is preventable incidents like these that reinforce those known facts, reasons and evidence which validates the need for occupational safety practices at all work places.” End of quote. Marvin Mora is the President of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize.
Marvin Mora, President of the National Trade Union Congress: “It is really unfortunate, it is really sad to see that a couple other families are left without the bread winner, without a loved one. Really feel sad by that specific situation because of the results and then we have others that were hurt and this is not the first time but as we expressed in our press release the employers measure their losses in financial terms, in monetary value, our people measure their loses in pain, suffering, death, loss of income. So for us the stakes are a lot more higher than for the employer as far as you can see.”
The OSH Bill has had its first reading in the House of Representatives in January 2014. It has since been set aside with no idea of how the Government, the opposition, the unions or the Chamber plan to move forward. Leader of the Opposition spoke on the OSH Bill saying the time has come to get it done,
John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: “The OSH Bill or the Occupational and Hazard Bill has been presented in the National Assembly for first reading and it has gone to the House Committee. Now I know there have been a lot of concerns from the private sector and also from the unions and it seems that it has died a natural death in the House Committee; I think that what is important and I am urging both the unions and the private sector to sit down together and go through the bill and to come up with something they believe that they can both support and so that they can come back to us for a second reading and third reading and that we can enact it into law. What is important that I think more than ever it is the time has come for us to have an occupational and hazard legislation in this country. As the country grows and there are bigger buildings and we have to be more safety conscious of our workers I think that it is time to pass that bill.”